Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 29th 2013 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, April 29, 2013
Better be ready
Are you ready for aflood?
Source: The T&T Red Cross Society
Contact the Red Cross: Headquarters - 627-8215/8128, Northern branch - 627-8214, Southern branch - 652-2024, Tobago branch - 639-2781
Floods are the leading cause of
disaster-related death in the
Caribbean, but since most can be
forecast, you should have time to
prepare. Your Red Cross urges you
to get ready. There are simple
steps you can take to help protect
your family from a flood.
Know your area's flood risk. If
unsure, call your Red Cross or
Emergency Management Agency.
If you are in a risk area, investigate
the feasibility of flood insurance.
Know the location of the main elec-
trical breaker and the gas and water
valves in your home and ensure you
have a clear path to easily access
them so that you can shut them off
When a Flood
Warning is issued:
Monitor the radio for weather
updates and evacuate immediately if
you are told to do so.
Move your furniture and valuables to
higher floors of your home or place
them high if possible.
Bring in all loose items from outside,
like garbage cans and yard furniture
for safe keeping.
Turn off the main electrical switch
and other utilities.
Place important documents and
valuables in plastic and store them
in a safe place.
Flood water dangers:
Do not walk through flowing water.
Just six inches of moving water can
knock you off your feet.
Never attempt to cross a swollen
stream, river or gully by foot or
vehicle. The force of these water-
ways can have deadly consequences.
If your vehicle stalls in rising water,
abandon it immediately and climb to
higher ground. A mere two feet of
water can float a large vehicle, even
After a flood:
Clean and dry everything water-
soaked. Flood waters can pick up
sewerage and chemicals from roads,
farms and factories. Spoiled food
and flooded medicines are health
hazards. When in doubt, throw them
Check appliances and motors for
damage and do not use them until
they have been cleaned and dried.
Watch out for wild animals. Snakes
and centipedes that have been
flooded out of their homes may seek
shelter in yours. Use a pole or a
stick to poke and turn items over
and scare them away.
If your home was seriously affected
by the floods and you suspect your
electrical wiring may have been
damaged, have it checked by a quali-
fied person before turning on the
main electrical switch.
Punch holes in all containers left
outside to prevent water from set-
tling and these from becoming
breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Purify water before using. Use chlo-
rine bleach or water purifying
tablets. Boil tap water for ten min-
T&T Red Cross Society
Moonia Balchand stood helplessly
in the rain with tears pouring down
her face, watching a demolition crew
smash her home on Thursday.
Her common-law husband Ram-
bachan Siew ran hurriedly to secure
his four pet parrots, bullfinches,
picoplats and German shepherd dog
Papa. However by the time he came
back, their possessions, including a
new stove, refrigerator and television
set, were stacked outside.
Balchand said her family has been
living in the house at Basta Hall, Couva,
for more than 19 years. She said she
was at home cooking around 7 am
when the crew came with a bailiff and
"They had an envelope and they said
they had a court order to evict us...Then
they started to break down everything,"
Three old 280 C cars owned by Siew
were removed from the property. They
were stacked in a heap in an adjoining
Balchand said she did not know
where to go.
"We have no place to go. We may
have to spend the night out here
because right now we have no choice,"
She also said she did not know who
was the real landowner as they have
been paying $226 rent annually to
another person who claimed ownership
of the land.
Her son Anand Maraj who fixes cars
said he was upset at the way the evic-
tion was carried out.
"They didn t have to mash up things.
Those cars were old but they had valu-
able parts which we were using," Maraj
The demolition was authorised by
a High Court order, four months after
the landowner won a case at the San
Fernando Supreme Court.
Merle Baggoo who had the power
of attorney for the landowners, said
she gave the family adequate notice to
evacuate the premises but her pleas
were ignored. She also said she offered
them the land at half the market value
but they refused to purchase.
Siew said yesterday that he pur-
chased a lot of land from Caroni (1975)
Limited after he got his Voluntary Sep-
aration Enhancement Package (VSEP).
He called on the National Self Help
Commission chairman Surujdeo Man-
garoo and Minister of the People Dr
Glenn Ramadharsingh to assist him in
erecting a structure on the land. (RS)
Demolition crew puts
family out in the rain
Chairman of the South West
Regional Health Authority
(SWRHA) Dr Lackram Bodoe has
admitted that it is difficult to
attract neurosurgeons to work at
the San Fernando General Hos-
pital, despite the placement of
advertisements locally and inter-
He was speaking at the
SWRHA s public board meeting at
City Hall on Thursday night. The
hospital has been without the serv-
ices of a neurosurgeon for the past
two years. Patients with head
injuries are usually sent to the Eric
Williams Medical Sciences Com-
plex in Mt Hope, or the Port-of-
Spain General Hospital.
Addressing questions about
when a neurosurgeon will be avail-
able at the hospital, Bodoe said
the Minister of Health and
SWRHA are committed to pro-
viding a full-time neurosurgeon
in the shortest period of time.
"It is a major concern of mine
but we are having difficulties in
attracting specialised doctors and
it is not because of a lack of try-
ing...We have placed advertise-
ments but there are constraints,"
He also revealed that the San
Fernando teaching hospital will be
commissioned in the latter part of
Bodoe said SWRHA remains
committed to reducing the mor-
bidity and mortality rate from
chronic non-communicable dis-
eases by 20 per cent.
"We also hope to introduce sys-
tems to support the functioning
of surgical clinics on weekends and
the opening of operating theatres
up to 10 pm," he said.
"The SWRHA also hopes to
reduce the average waiting time
for medical reports to two weeks
as the average waiting time is four
He said they were also dealing
with overcrowding and parking
problems at the hospital.
He added that upgrades of the
X-ray building of the Point Fortin
Area Hospital was also on the
agenda as well as increased opening
hours for health centres, including
Meanwhile, Chief Executive
Officer of SWRHA Anil Gosine
said it was difficult to attract neu-
rosurgeons with the salary that the
Regional Health Authority offers.
"In the next three weeks we are
putting out an advertisement to
attract them through contracts and
to see if a group of neurosurgeons
will come together and provide
that service for us in the SWRHA,"
He also said that once the San
Fernando teaching hospital comes
on stream, there will be a need for
extra inpatient staffing.
"We are extending the number
of medical wards so that we will
need to have increased staffing.
We already started the commis-
sioning phase. The pediatric wards
will be moving across so they will
move with their staff too," Gosine
said. He added that the SWRHA
was working with the nursing
manager to assess human resource
Ads placed at home and abroad, but...
Sando hospital still
The home of Moonia Balchand which was demolished in Basta Hall last Thursday. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
Links Archive Metro Demo April 30th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page