Every year there is always mass debate between the bandleaders and the Carnival governing bodies to ensure everything is in place to allow for a smooth Carnival for the bands and their masqueraders, but where is the concern for Woodbrook residents? I have lived in Woodbrook almost all my life and over those 30 years I have seen a drastic deterioration in the manner in which the residents are considered. This year, the disrespect reached a whole new level in the form of confetti.
On Carnival Monday afternoon, Harts and Tribe passed on Warren Street littering our property with confetti. Harts promotional Absolute Vodka cart, shot off multi-coloured confetti into the air several times which settled everywhere. All over the streets, our yards (front and back), in drains, even getting into the kitchen and bedrooms via open windows. A while later Tribe passed, and the man holding the confetti hose aimed it towards the houses, delivering a second dose of confetti, this time branded Tribe/ Strictly FX. While the confetti on tiles was easily swept up, the ones in grass and in hedges were not. Both bands were contacted on this matter and both said they would get back to us.
After three weeks and a reminder email, Harts finally responded saying that none of their trucks was outfitted with confetti or any other pyrotechnics and suggested we contact the relevant authorities on the matter. Whether Harts genuinely forgot about the Vodka truck or hoped enough time had elapsed that we would is unclear. What is clear are the photos of the said truck, in Harts band, on Warren Street shooting off confetti. These photos were subsequently emailed to the band. Tribe is yet to respond.
Totally fed up of the lack of concern shown we decided to take Harts advice and make an official report. After all, littering is a crime that carries a fine of $1,000 per item littered. We called the Woodbrook Police Station who put us on to the City Police, who put us on to Public Health, then the Litter Wardens who were not there. got transferred to the PoS City Corporation and then to the City Engineer where we got voicemail. We called EMA, who said it was an issue for the City Corporation. The next day, called the PoS City Corporation again and our information was passed on to the relevant person with a promise that someone would get back to us. As you may guess, no one has.
Maybe if we the residents took a page out of Dr Kublalsingh’s book, went to the homes of bandleaders and the authorities and littered their premises with confetti they would appreciate the frustration that we feel. Three weeks post Carnival and despite the efforts of our gardener, the confetti embedded in the grass and under the grills that cover our drains, while reduced, still lingers. Every gust of wind brings with it new pieces that are coming from the street or neighbouring houses destined to add clogged drains and cause flooding, but who cares? I am an avid fan of Carnival, as I am sure many of the residents are. Personally my household enjoys having the bands pass, but the way in which we the residents are treated needs to change. While masqueraders and bandleaders go home to a clean, urine free house, with working phone lines, electricity, cable, and internet, Woodbrook residents are not that lucky.