In Trinidad and Tobago, protest action can take many forms — online campaigns, hunger strikes, waste burning, even swims-cum-boat rides between the two islands — but never before has a man-sized pothole been turned into a jacuzzi:
The man, who was identified only as “Ken” by the social media user who shot and uploaded the video on January 4, 2018, had come to the end of his tether after 10 days of calling the Water and Sewerage Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (WASA) to fix a leak that was so severe it had eroded part of the street in front of his house, with the ironic twist that he was no longer receiving a pipe-borne water supply to his home.
So he did the next best thing — he took a relaxing soak in the pothole.
Thanks to his creatively outrageous protest action, Ken immediately became a social media sensation, even gaining regional kudos for his tactics. The very next day, WASA dispatched a crew to fix the leak and repair the massive hole.
Facebook user Nyssa Pear posted photos of the WASA crew at work and joked:
WAYZ! As of 1:45am, Ken’s jacuzzi is no more! There goes my weekend plan! ? I kid. WASA wukkin!
WOW! As of 1:45am, Ken’s jacuzzi is no more! There goes my weekend plan! ? I kid. WASA is working!
Which is not to say that the organisation didn't get properly pummelled on social media. WASA already has a reputation for digging up roadways for maintenance purposes and then failing to restore the roads to their former condition. There is a standing joke in Trinidad and Tobago about “official potholes”, which have been left unattended for so long that the easiest thing to do is simply paint a white line around it to alert motorists to the danger.
Andrew James didn't find the situation in the least bit amusing:
Shameless in a so called devolving country bad administration bad people just collecting pay under false pretense at the expense of taxpayers
So thats how to get things done in this country…you have to get on social media..okay ..? ✔ for Mr.Ken… lesson learnt
Disgust with essential services aside, netizens were completely captivated by Ken:
— Ansa Musa (@St_Ans) January 5, 2018
On Facebook, Chad Ramgattie said:
Give this man an award….
And some antibiotics too.
Shazard Bansraj replied:
Apparently embarrassment is the key to getting the government to act in this country ?. I'm opening some hot springs […] if anyone would like to patronize.
Denzil James concurred:
?????People really have to be extreme in this country to get results
Perhaps, but Ken's ingenuity did get results, which just goes to show that a little humour can go a long way — and he emerged as a hero into the bargain. To Ti-Jadanna La Jordan, it was a win/win situation:
Ken is a darling and Ken showed up WASA's incompetence
Finally, EmmyAwards Brown thought the country should properly acknowledge Ken's ingenuity:
The entire nation should do this
Well done papa you deserve a national award