Asaiah Josiah was out of his mother’s sight for ten minutes.
In those precious moments, however, the seven-year-old boy drowned in a pool behind his grandparents’ home in Tableland.
Asaiah’s mother Ayanna Josiah, 41, of Rienzi Housing Development, Couva, was visiting her parents’ home at Church Road, Warrell Road, Roberts Village, when the tragedy occurred yesterday.
Asaiah was the nephew of NAMDEVCO deputy CEO Rayber Bowen.
Moruga/Tableland MP Michelle Benjamin, who spoke with one of the child’s relatives following the incident yesterday, told Guardian Media that the bad roads allegedly delayed the ambulance responding to the incident and now they will never know if his life could have been saved.
According to a police report, Asaiah, a Standard One student, went to the back of the house to play around 1.30 pm. When his mother checked on him ten minutes later, however, she discovered him at the bottom of the family’s swimming pool. She raised an alarm and he was pulled out of the pool but efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.
Some time later, the EHS ambulance arrived and the medical technicians performed Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). On the way to the Princes Town Health Facility, however, the child was unresponsive in the ambulance. When the medical technicians got to the health facility, police said doctors there worked feverishly on him but he was pronounced dead around 4.30 pm.
Asaiah was the first of Josiah’s three children.
Expressing her condolences to the family, Benjamin said based on what the relative told her, the deplorable road conditions delayed the ambulance’s arrival to the home. Recalling that since she has entered office, she has been lobbying for the roads to be repaired in her constituency, she said, “When it comes to the road inside Warwell, it is in a deplorable state and that would have hindered the ambulance from reaching the family in a timely manner and right now they will always be living with that doubt that an additional minute, or had the ambulance arrived faster, who knows, the child may have been saved.”
Benjamin just before the entrance to the family’s home there were two massive landslides.
“So when it comes to accessing homes there is a problem because of the state of the roadway, some is earthen, some is pitch, and it is not potholes, it has craters, so the ambulance service had to drive at snail’s pace,” Benjamin said.
Last month, a fire tender responding to a house fire at St Julien’s Trace, Princes Town, had to turn around and use an alternative route to get to the scene due to the deplorable state of the road. By the time they arrived, the entire house was already engulfed in flames and the occupants, Doodooman Sankar, 79 and his wife Ramdaye Sankar, 84, had already perished.
Last March, meanwhile, two-year-old Romelu Amani Drakes drowned in a pool at his speech therapy school in Couva. The school owner has since been charged and the matter is pending in court.