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Sunday 15 September 2019
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[UPDATED] National drainage study commissioned

A flood scene in El Socorro in October last year. Government says it has commissioned a national drainage study to so as to be guided on flood alleviation plans. FILE PHOTO
A flood scene in El Socorro in October last year. Government says it has commissioned a national drainage study to so as to be guided on flood alleviation plans. FILE PHOTO

WORKS and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan says a national drainage study has been commissioned.

He was responding to reports of severe flooding in south Trinidad on Wednesday, while speaking with the media after the arrival of the Jean de la Valette ferry at the Port of Port of Spain on Thursday. “Flooding has a lot to do with the capacity of the water and the drains. What we had in South was not necessarily the rivers overflowing, because we did a lot of desilting work in the dry season and it continues up to today.” He said the severe downpour in South caused the flooding.

He said his ministry was trying to complete the entire programme of about 369 desilting projects by the end of this month. “What we saw in San Fernando was a lot of flash flooding. And the report that I got was
that it was in an area that is very low
and the drainage and the cylinders are very small for that volume of rain.” Sinanan said the ministry has commissioned a national study on drainage and water courses.

“We are actually studying all the major infrastructure in all the cities as part of the study, and going forward, one of the things we are trying to address is the capacity we have in both the rivers and also in the major drains.” He said the hope is to have a programme the country can roll out over the next ten years.

Sinanan reported over the past couple of years about five drainage studies had been done, but were just lying in the ministry. He said a consultant will be taking all previous studies and prepare a comprehensive study and work programme, he said.

“We spend a significant amount of money doing studies and we never implement anything. What we are trying to do now is take all these studies, create one national study and create an operational plan going forward.” Sinanan explained there will be a short-, medium- and long-term plan “to try once and for all to deal with this flooding problem.” He added: “Every year we just keep going out there and handing out cheques and we just can’t continue like that.

“We have to start to develop a better infrastructure.”

He reported a lot of short-term measures have begun to be implemented and gave the example of the contract for widening the Caroni and desilting was derived from a study in the area.

“Rather than you wait for all these studies, we started to take all the low-hanging fruits.”

This story has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.


WORKS and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan has said a national drainage study has been commissioned.

He was responding to severe flooding in south Trinidad on Wednesday while speaking with the media after the arrival of the Jean de la Valette ferry at the Port of Spain on Thursday.

"Flooding has a lot to do with the capacity of the water and the drains. What we had in South was not necessarily the rivers overflowing, because we did a lot of desilting work in the dry season and it continues up to today."

He said the severe downpour in South caused the flooding.

He explained the ministry was trying to complete the entire programme of about 369 desilting projects by the end of this month.

"What we saw in San Fernando was a lot of flash flooding. And the report that I got was
that it was in an area that is very low
and the drainage and the cylinders are very small for that volume of rain."

Sinanan said the ministry has commissioned a national study on drainage and water courses.

"We are actually studying all the major infrastructure in all the cities as part of the study, and going forward, one of the things we are trying to address is the capacity we have in both the rivers and also in the major drains."

He said the hope is to have a programme the country can roll out over the next ten years.

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