TWO months into the rainy season, Mayaro MP Rushton Paray has again expressed dissatisfaction with the work done in the sprawling constituency, saying a lack of funding is hindering the clearing of rivers and other watercourses in the region.
The lack of funding has prompted Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation chairman Glen Ram to approach companies to assist in the corporation’s disaster management plans, should the region experience the type of flooding which characterised last year’s wet season.
“As chairman I wrote to some of the companies in the Galeota area asking for assistance, not in terms of any financial assistance, but to liaise with the disaster management unit of the corporation.” The region suffered floods which began with the passage of Tropical Storm Bret in mid-June.
The Atlantic hurricane season is forecast as likely to be 35 per cent above average, with the expected formation of ten-16 named storms, five to nine hurricanes and one to four major hurricanes (Categories 3 and above).
Paray said he held a stakeholders’ meeting last week with members of the police, fire, health, disaster management unit and the corporation to gauge their readiness and response.
“The Mayaro/ Rio Claro Regional Corporation lamented the lack of funds throughout the fiscal year to properly address watercourses, while the police asked that we assist with items such as raincoats and flashlights.
“I am not satisfied that the arms of the State are prepared to deal with a fourth major flooding in the past 12 months.”
He said “minimal” work had been done in the region and noted that the Works and Transport Minister had told him that work had been done in central Trinidad.
“But my challenge is this: the water has to come to Mayaro, it has to go out into the ocean. So if we don’t clean where the water has to go and get out into the ocean, the water will end up under people’s homes.
That is where my issue is. I don’t think enough work has been done in the Mayaro constituency of clearing our main outputs and outflows of water into the ocean.”
Corporation chairman Glen Ram agreed, saying while some work had been done in Mayaro/Guayaguare and Cocal/ Mafeking, the other main areas such as Poole Valley, Navet, Mafeking, Cedar Grove and Plum Mitan have not been dealt with.
“Normally the corporation would have done some minor cleaning to try to alleviate the problem.
Our (funding) releases are very, very minute and basically we couldn’t do anything, so we depended on the Ministry of Works’ drainage division, and no major works were done with the exception of these three areas. “We are expecting a lot of flooding.”
He said the only company to respond to their plea for assistance was bpTT, which was liaising with their disaster management unit.