Al-Rawi: Roads cleared in Grande Riviere but floods hurt turtle nests

A nesting leatherback turtle at Grande Riviere. Photo by Anjani Ganase
A nesting leatherback turtle at Grande Riviere. Photo by Anjani Ganase

MINISTER of Rural Development and Local Government Faris Al-Rawi detailed the works done to restore access to areas around Toco but lamented that some turtle-nesting sites may have been affected by the passage of a storm overnight on Wednesday. He was speaking at Thursday's post-Cabinet briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann's.

"Sangre Grande Regional Corporation is where we had some significant issues," he said, in his round-up of the state of various spots nationwide.

"We had four landslips along the Paria Main Road. We had Tompire, Matura, Grande Riviere river inundation.

"We have had a significantly successful management in terms of issues at Grande Riviere. The reports came in this morning that there was significant inaccessibility. The roads were completely blocked."

However, he said, beforehand, as of Sunday, "significant assets" had been put on site in the area by the efforts of his ministry, the Ministry of Works and Transport (MOWT) and the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation.

"Very fortunately we have had a significant amount of implementation of relief. I'm very pleased to say that we have cleared the roadway. We are in further watercourse management right now. The river has subsided. We have identified further blockages with drone photography. We're actually aware of what is on site."

He said his ministry was now removing debris from rivers in that area.

"We have noted that roadways are now passable. Major landslips, slush and debris on Toco Main Road has been cleared by contractors and the MOWT under our ministry's supervision. The roadway is therefore now passable."

Al-Rawi said 40 people in Sangre Grande had accessed emergency shelter. He said water and electricity was restored these people's homes while they were in shelter, and CEPEP and municipal corporation workers provided other assistance.

"We are literally cleaning homes as we speak right now."

He said those individuals had returned home to help with the clean-up, with some likely to opt to stay home on Thursday night. They had been given relief supplies and hampers, Al-Rawi said.

However, he revealed that nesting turtles in the area might not have been so fortunate.

"We've now confirmed that at Grande Riviere, as a result of the river bursting its banks, that there were in fact violent flood waters that went right on to the beach.

"As you know, that is where the leatherback turtles have their nesting sites. People have been reporting and we have verified that some of those sites were affected. We are paying attention to that."


"Al-Rawi: Roads cleared in Grande Riviere but floods hurt turtle nests"

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