MICKHELA ALEXANDER NYLO INTERN AND LAUREL V WILLIAMS
CHAIRMAN of the Siparia Regional Corporation Dr Glen Ramadharsingh will today meet officials from the civil engineering department of the University of the West Indies to discuss ways in which residents of Aripero could secure their homes to reduce the impact of damage from natural disasters.
Ramadharsingh said yesterday the department contacted him and volunteered to assist affected families in times of disasters.
The decision to assist came in light of Thursday’s storm in Aripero and Rousillac where strong winds damaged the homes of 26 families leaving 110 people displaced.
Ramadharsingh congratulated members of the university for giving back to society and said, “I am grateful that the university, on which we spent so much money, can come back to these communities and give to the low-income areas.”
Yesterday, Ramadharsingh, his mother Chanardaye Ramadharsingh, who is the councillor for the area, and representatives from the Disaster Management Unit distributed hampers to the affected families. They were accompanied by interns from Trinidad Generation Unlimited (TGU) of Vessigny Village, La Brea.
On Thursday the galvanised roofing on many houses were ripped away leaving residents distraught and seeking immediate assistance. Ramadharsingh said 75 per cent of the people were from Aripero.
He thanked TGU for providing hampers to those affected. TGU provided three to four hampers per family which consisted of pharmaceuticals and food items. He called on the authorities to make decisions with the “small man” in mind to prevent “double jeopardy” when disaster befalls them. He said such decisions should be made with integrity, accountability, and transparency so as to avoid questions being raised.
Single mother, Alana Mayers, 31, and her three-month-old baby, Annesha Francis, were severely affected. Their roof was blown off.
Mayers expressed thanks for the assistance provided by the corporation and businesses who helped in providing relief to affected residents .
“Right now, I am lost for words and I don’t know what would have happened if they did not assist us,” Mayers said.
She thanked members of the Unemployment Relief Programme for their rapid response at the time of the incident. She said within 20 minutes, officials from the corporation were on the scene making arrangements for accommodation and within 30 minutes of being notified, representatives from the Disaster Management Unit responded.