The Works and Transport Ministry says an official report has been made to the police about a vandalism and arson attempt at the Bamboo No. 3 Pump Site on Wednesday. Minister Rohan Sinanan said security at the site would be upgraded.
Speaking to the media at the site on Thursday, Sinanan said it was not the first time an attempt had been made by, what he called, elements to sabotage the pumps in the area.
“In this St Joseph area here, there are some elements who are trying to sabotage the pumps. This is not a case where anybody is trying to steal anything. What they’re trying to do is demobilise the pumps by burning the pumps.
"It has nothing to do with anybody trying to steal cables or anything like that. It’s a straight case of some elements want to ensure that the area is being flooded out, for what reason I don’t know.
“The elements who came out to burn the pump brought tires, wood, and set everything in a way that the discharge line would have been destroyed in a matter of minutes and that would have shut down the pump.
"We want to appeal to these elements who seem to be insisting that these areas must flood out to please desist from that. This pump takes out almost all the water from the Bamboo No. 3 area. If it goes down all the homes and businesses in this area will be under water and that is a disaster for the area.”
Sinanan thanked the villagers who came out on Wednesday night and put out the fire.
“Had the villagers not responded in a quick mobilisation, we would have lost this pump here which is an expensive one. It’s one of the newer ones put in in recent times and it would have been a massive disaster for this area once the rainy season stepped in.
“If anyone sees anyone interfering with the pumps in this area, let us respond with the police or the villagers to give us whatever assistance they can."
He said security at the pumps would be improved.
"I’ve instructed the director to make sure we have watchmen 24 hours, as much as we can do. "
The minister said it was the third time in as many months that pumps around the country had been sabotaged. He said there was an attempt to destroy two pumps in the same area last year.