Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 24th 2017 Contents news A7
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Plea for hot meals for flood victims
An appeal has been made for
hot meals to be provided to those
still grappling with the aftermath
of Tropical Storm Bret.
It came from founder of Is There
Not a Cause (ITNAC) Avonelle Hec-
She described the situation as
She also appealed for more volun-
teers to come on board to help bring
relief to flood victims.
"We have been to places like
Haiti and Florida but to see this in
your own country...it really hurts
my heart. I got a call from a single
mother this morning (yesterday) that
her 10-year-old son is sick because
he drank contaminated water ... it
is really sad.
"We need companies to encourage
staff to donate. We want to provide
hot meals over the weekend and
we are asking for vegetarian and
non-vegetarian meals," she said.
Hector-Joseph said medication
for diabetes and hypertension is
also needed as well as canned food,
toiletries and building supplies.
ITNAC is currently on an aware-
ness drive to foster a sense of caring
throughout the country.
"We need to send a message to
the rest of the population that while
there may be people who were not
affected by the storm there are many
people who need help and we need
to care about them and we need to
provide some comfort to them."
She said ITNAC will provide meals
and supplies to flood victims in San-
gre Grande on Saturday, Oropouche
on Sunday and will also be dealing
with individual cases.
The next phase will be assisting in
reconstructing homes, Hector-Jo-
Co-ordinator of Sewa Internation-
al TT (Sewa TT) Revan Teelucksingh
said the response from the business
community has been "really good"
as many supermarkets are steadily
donating foodstuff. Sewa has been
He said Subway has agreed to pro-
vide vegetarian six-inch sandwiches
at a cost of $10 each. From Tuesday
to Wednesday 1,114 sandwiches were
distributed to people affected by the
storm along with 700 cooked meals
in affected communities.
Teelucksingh said even before the
storm struck Sewa TT had formulat-
ed a four-point plan.
"The first phase was to prepare
and distribute cooked food because
we did not know how long the storm
was going to last. Then we looked
at reducing the risk of water-borne
diseases by providing bottled water.
"Next was to help with clean up
operations and provide groceries
and lastly to do an assessment of the
communities to ensure there are no
outbreak of diseases like gastroen-
teritis and leptospirosis," he said.
Teelucksingh said Sewa TT is also
promoting awareness since with the
flood waters there could be an in-
crease in vector borne diseases like
He said people willing to support
the group's efforts can make cash
deposits to Sewa International TT's
Republic Bank account 870 801 107
Although there have been numer-
ous reports of damaged homes, Hab-
itat for Humanity T&T said it is not
yet overwhelmed with calls for help.
Tracy Hutchinson Wallace, com-
munications officer for the organi-
sation, said people are still cleaning
and assessing the losses.
"By next week we expect a lot of
calls to be coming in. Right now we
have community officers in the field
talking to residents," she said.
"Right now it is not as overwhelm-
ing but once the clean up has fin-
ished we expect many more calls by
early next week and by then we will
definitely need help from engineers,
construction companies and land
surveyors," Hutchinson Wallace said.
She said the organisation is asking
for donations of building material,
including galvanise, nails, hurricane
straps, windows and doors.
Donations to Habitat can be made
at any branch of Republic Bank to ac-
count 180 482 534 101.
Help coming for affected farmers
Agriculture, Land and Fisher-
ies Minister Clarence Rambharat
says hundreds of thousands of
dollars in agricultural produce
were lost due to flooding caused
by Tropical Storm Bret on Mon-
Rambharat visited Tabaquite,
Moruga, Debe and Woodland, Or-
ange Grove, Felicity, Rio Claro and
other affected areas on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, President of the
T&T Farmers Union, Shiraz Khan,
said the ministry needed to have a
plan for the farming industry in the
event of a disaster.
Rambharat visited the farmers
who were affected and shared with
them that 'the whole idea of going
around the country, is that as a policy
maker I can see for myself and I can
understand what we have to do if it
is for a long term or a one-off on the
issue of compensation'.
He said: "the main issue is the loss
of crops which were nearing the end
of their productive cycle, the loss of
new plants and seedlings; and a fac-
tor that little attention is paid to, the
deluge of mud, rubbish and bamboo/
tree parts left in the fields. These are
also farmers farming along a water-
course, and farming on lands that
they do not have leases for."
Rambharat said the "farmers
deal with expected rainfall as part
of their practices. We are dealing
with weather where fields are del-
uged with water that cannot drain
off quickly. There are measures in
place to deal with water; but some
levels of rainfall cannot be handled
in low level areas."
He said the extent of the damage
was discouraging but noted that he
knows that the farmers were very
He also encouraged all farmers to
contact their Extension Officers at
the country offices.
Rambharat said that ADB's field
officers and other staff identify
borrowers affected by the Tropical
Storm and, as far as possible, make
arrangements with these borrowers
to assist them as they recover.
He said the Permanent Secretary
would arrange to have the requisite
staff set up by next Tuesday at lo-
cations close to affected farmers, to
receive requests for assistance, and
that these requests be considered on
a priority basis having regard to ex-
isting policy and available resources.
A farmer wades through flood waters in Aranguez in the aftermath of
Tropical Storm Bret.
The Coosal's Group of Companies executive director Tricia Coosal, right, and executive chairman Sieunarine Coosal,
second right, together with their employees Videsh Ramlochan, left, and Sasenarine present food hampers and
water yesterday to Deokie Rampersad and her son Mukesh at their Madras Settlement Road, Chin Chin home which
suffered flood damage after the passing of Tropical Storm Bret on Monday. PHOTO: ANDRE ALEXANDER
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