The San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation acquired a $750,000 Caterpillar backhoe from Massy Machinery on Friday, when it received the keys.
Speaking at the handover at the corporation’s offices at Aranguez Plaza, chairman Anthony Roberts said the backhoe would support the Disaster Management Unit (DMU).
“This piece of equipment was specifically purchased to support the work of the unit, especially in San Juan/Laventille, because the wet season has just started and we have had more than 100 landslides already, so you need equipment.
"The burgesses always calling, you need equipment to try to clear, and you have drains to clear, so while you are doing the work of the DMU, we have to also continue to do the normal work of the corporation. So now the unit will have its own equipment, and as we go along we will try to improve on that department.”
He said he wasn’t sure any other corporation had invested in equipment for its DMU.
“It’s not about talk, it’s about being able to assist the burgesses when they call, and that is our focus in San Juan/Laventille. We will be putting it to work immediately. So we’re really pleased and excited about it.”
CEO Dianne Lakhan said the corporation was happy to have been able to buy the backhoe through its PSIP to help the region.
“We have had a lot of landslides during the rainy season, a lot of mishaps, and we’re hoping this piece of equipment would help us tremendously in our work. The corporation is proud to have this equipment today and we want to thank Massy and the government of the day for helping us to purchase such an important piece of equipment. I am certain the burgesses of the region will be happy to see us out there assisting them in any way.”
DMU head Darren Winchester said the unit was grateful for the backhoe, especially as there was always uncertainty surrounding disasters.
“With this equipment, alongside our human resource and what we already have in the corporation, we’ll be able to quickly respond to disasters as they happen and bring life back to normal as fast as possible to the residents and communities. We can’t plan for the disasters, but we are able to respond. We hope that Massy lives up to its word of having a good piece of equipment.”
Massy Machinery sales consultant for heavy and agricultural equipment Anthony Sanchez said the company would be providing parts and after-sale service for the backhoe and support was guaranteed. He said the machine could be destroyed easily with bad practices, and gave tips on how to prevent this.
Corporation engineer Riyaaz Ramkisson said the areas where the backhoe would be used in as soon as possible included Fabeau/Bourg Mulatresse, Petit Bourg/Mt Lambert/Champ Fleurs, Morvant/Caledonia, St Ann’s/Cascade/Mon Repos, the North Coast Road and the Lady Young Road.
“We will be using it to clear landslides, to clear drainage in the area – for a couple of different purposes.”