Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 3rd 2018 Contents Low ti
Wednesday, January 3,2018
Yesterday's low tides and warm
weather were ripe for clean-up
works in flood-ravaged commu-
nities but after three disasters in
just six months, the fear of more
devastation looms large.
Like the onslaught of Tropical
Storm Bret in June and the Di-
vali floods of October, the recent
rainfall has distressed hundreds
Cepep crews were out assist-
ing residents in Mafeking Village,
Mayaro to discard ruined furni-
ture, appliances and clothing
valued ten of thousands of dol-
lars. Similarly, some Woodland
folks were trying to salvage an-
ything they could from the mau-
by-coloured water that seeped
into their homes since Friday.
Chairman of the Mayaro/Rio
Claro Regional Corporation Glen
Ram painted a grim outlook of
the next rainy season, saying
that if the Ministry of Works and
Transport continue to grapple
with funding to clear major wa-
tercourses, devastating floods
could become the norm.
Water had subsided along
the Naparima/Mayaro Road but
Cedar Grove and its surround-
ing area remained covered.
Ram said over 150 houses were
affected, but the tally continued
to climb yesterday as the Disas-
ter Management Unit assessed
Two families had to be res-
cued from their home by first
responders and they took up
shelter at the Mayaro Civic Cen-
tre. They were provided with
mattresses and food.
"We had floods just two
months ago, but this month was
worse than before. If you saw the
es, warm weather
Kissoon Sookram removes a damaged microwave oven from his flooded home in Woodland yesterday.
PICTURE RISHI RAGOONATH
pictures, you would see people's
fences covered by the waters.
The problem here in Mayaro is
that there is a constant need to
clean the main rivers which fall
under the Ministry of Works.
"Of course we raised these
issues at our regional meet-
ings, but we understand that
the problem with the Ministry
is funding. We try to help but
we are also starved for funding
and floods will become a peren-
nial thing is nothing happens. If
the rain comes in that manner
again, we will get flooded again,
especially when the tide is high,"
Litter wardens need to be more proactive
Litter wardens need to more visi-
ble and on the field to combat il-
legal dumping which contributed
to devastating floods across the
country, says Rural Development
Minister I(azim Hosein.
Hosein, who is acting as Minis-
ter of Works and Transport, has
been touring several areas af-
fected by prolonged flooding over
the last few days said the illegal
dumping of rubbish contributed
to the devastation.
Hosein said he would be asking
all corporations to ensure litter
wardens are more visible.
"I will ask the mayors to use
the litter wardens properly. We
want to ensure people see them
and they need to be more visible
and proactive. I want them (litter
wardens) go to the schools. They
need come out more. They on the
back burner," he said.
He said climate change was an-
other factor for the incessant rain-
fall this past weekend.
"We need to find a solution to
the flooding problem and every-
one has to put their heads to-
gether to prepare for the rainy
season," he said.
Nadra Nathai-Gyan, chairman
of the Environmental Manage-
ment Authority, said human ac-
tivity was a factor in the flooding
experienced across the country.
Nathai-Gyan said the chang-
ing weather patterns were also
caused by the climate change ef-
"The flooding is because of
the unusual rain and what we
are having unexpected. It's a re-
lated the process. The climate
change is the unpredictability of
the weather and intense rainfall
causes flooding because it's too
much at one point of sustained
rainfall," she said.
However, Nathai-Gyan said the
dumping of waste in waterways
and excavation of hillsides and
slopes exacerbates the situation.
"The waterways are clogged
when you cut down the hillside.
We are our own worse enemy
when it comes to disasters," she
Nathai-Gyan said some 10-15
years ago we began losing our
coastlines in Cedros, Icacos and
"The sea is coming in because
of climate change. If you go down
Icacos it is dramatic where there
was former land -we are losing,"
She said citizens need to have
a change of behaviour when it
came to dumping garbage.
"One of the ini-
tiatives of the EMA
was the ICARE
programme and for JANUARY 2,2018
you have the bins
country for recy-
cling so it would
not be dumped
into the environ-
ment. This an edu-
change in behav-
iour," she said.
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