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Thursday 17 October 2019
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Calls for flooding to be on budget agenda

Flood waters rise as the Maraval River burst its banks yesterday. PHOTO VIA TT WEATHER CHANNEL’S FACEBOOK PAGE
Flood waters rise as the Maraval River burst its banks yesterday. PHOTO VIA TT WEATHER CHANNEL’S FACEBOOK PAGE

ALMOST one year after his home was under six feet of water and he lost over $50,000 in household items a flood victim, Larry Sammy appealed to the United National Congress (UNC) to place the issue of flooding high on the agenda when they present at the 2019/2020 budget on October 7.

This as some parts of Trinidad experienced major flash-flooding yesterday. Sammy, a businessman, said felt offended, hurt and neglected to see people in the Greenvale Housing Development collect cheques within days of that flood on November 22, 2018 which also severely affected that community, while poor people in the Penal/Debe, Barrackpore, San Francique, Woodland and other areas are yet to receive any relief.

He said an assessment was done by officials from the Disaster Management Unit, Port of Spain, but all of his calls since then have gone unanswered.

He told a pre-budget meet at the Oropouche East constituency office on Tuesday night, that he has applied under the Freedom of Information Act to see how many people were affected in the southern community and how many of them got relief, as opposed to those in the Greenvale community.

Sammy who lives on the SS Erin Road, opposite Lall’s Shopping Mall, said in 2009 a box drain was built near his home and since then his home started flooding. “We in the south are being discriminated tremendously.” Looking around the room, he asked repeatedly, “have anyone of you been in a flood? Anybodyt lost lots and lots of things you worked hard for?”

“Not to get water to drink for three days, I felt like I was in a dessert. To lose what I worked hard for. Yes, the office of the MP sent a hamper, I appreciate it and accepted it with open arms, but four days later when the water subsided, I had to go to the bank to get money to buy a new fridge. I lost a fridge, stove, water pump and nobody came after to see what assistance the flood victims needed.”

Sammy said he was worried because he was expecting more rain this year and was not hearing what was being done by the corporation or the government to alleviate their suffering.

He said for the past eight weeks, a tree had fallen in the Suchit River and was still there blocking the natural course.

Dr Allen Sammy, chairman of the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation who was among the panellist, said the Ministry of Works, whose responsibility it was to clear the course, had called to find out if they had an excavator to clear it.

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