Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 25th 2013 Contents A11
August 25, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
• FROM PAGE A10
system of cleaning of water courses, for improvement
of infrastructure in certain key areas, so that if we
get heavy rain, or when we get heavy rain in 2013,
it will be less likely that the damage would be as
Browne showed photographs of several areas with
overgrown bushes which he said were neglected.
He said, "When they say they ve cleaned all of
these things...it s just a fantasy. Sammy is saying we
have done well. They are patting themselves on the
Browne said resources were wasted and people
needed to feel they were in a safer situation. He said
whenever there is a little rainfall people cannot sleep
and are worried.
The opposition MP said he has been out in the
field gathering "evidence" on what he believes is
complete neglect by the agencies who were paid by
taxpayers to do infrastructural work.
"People are terrified because they are seeing their
drains not properly cleaned," Browne said.
"Some of the drains are completely overgrown.
They are seeing the entry points for water into the
Diego Martin river having not been modified as has
been recommended by them and their representa-
ODPM head: There's
room for improvement
CEO of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and
Management Dr Stephen Ramroop said close to
$85,000 had been spent on brochures and booklets
for distribution to people living in high risk areas,
including Diego Martin and environs. Despite this
effort to inform and educate them about flooding
and the necessary precautions, he said Diego Martin
residents will continue to experience future flooding.
"What we have said to the residents is that they
will experience floods in the future," he said.
"What will happen is that the roads will become
the rivers, once the rains fall. There is no other way
"We have been telling the residents that the way
their homes are built...you can t prevent what is hap-
"They are in the natural watercourse of the water-
flow and unless something is drastically done to
collect the water in large reservoirs and then gradually
pump it out into rivers, they will always
Ramroop said the ODPM has been mon-
itoring drainage works conducted by the
Corporation and the ministry but there was
still room for improvement.
He said he was pleased with some of the
Ramroop said the ODPM in collaboration
with the T&T Fire Service conducted evac-
uation drills at five schools in the area and
residents are much better prepared to deal
"Residents will always complain and it
will be foolish to expect that people will
not be angry because they built their homes
there and didn t expect that the number of
buildings would have increased around them.
"What has not improved with the devel-
opment of land is the strategic development
of drainage and urban and hillside devel-
opment in the country and it was only last
year after the flooding that the Government
put a limitation on the 300 feet mark that
people can stop building."
Sammy: Residents need
to be more resilient
Sammy is of the view that while central
and local government have a part to play,
so do the burgesses.
He said burgesses need to play a more
active role in keeping drains and waterways
free from garbage.
"The work that was done after the August
11, 2012 flooding hazard, what I did as the
Incident Commander of the situation, I
used the opportunity while we had all the
manpower and equipment available to clear
up as many of the waterways and under-
ground drains that had not been cleared for
like 20 years."
Sammy said with all the rainfall that
occurred up to August 10 this year, there
were no problems and only about six streets
"Germany saw floodss it hadn t seen in
like 500 years and that is because of the
climate change we are seeing and the severe
weather we are having.
"So we can clean all that we want to clean
and hopefully our burgesses and others that
may come from outside of our region who
throw stuff in our waterways...we can do
all the cleaning that we wish but if there
is severe weather, you are going to have a
measure of flooding."
He said the corporation had conducted
programmes to make burgesses more
resilient because people have to be better
prepared for natural disasters.
Pensioner Lennox Soso
points to rubble from a wall
demolished by the floods
still piled in his yard.
PHOTO: RHONDA RAMBALLY.
Pensioner Lennox Soso, 64, of Duke of
Edinburgh Avenue, lost his wall and only
received $6,000 in compensation for
damage inside of the house.
He's still struggling to rebuild the
collapsed wall. He lives with his daughter
"They have not done anything. It was
one set of runaround," he said
"They trying to fool who they could fool
but who have eyes to see will see."
Another pensioner from Queen
Elizabeth Avenue said his family lost
carpets and other furnishings.
The man, who wished to remain
anonymous, complained that pensioners
were treated shabbily.
"I know people who got money and
others who did not. Some got for fence
who has contact."
Other residents complained about
overgrown bushes behind their homes
and the slow pace of compensation.
One man said, "The river need desilting.
They need to send the tractors and the
backhoes and the trucks to desilt."
Solomon Britto, 66, of Richplain, and
Emrol Bentham, 31, of La Puerta, lost
their lives in the floods.
Britto's son, Ricardo Notthingham, said
if rain falls like it did last year, someone
else can die.
He said, "One year later and they put
wall but they have not put nothing where
Britto dead. They only start to build the
wall in July."
The rest of his family continues to rent
an HDC house at Oropune Gardens,
Piarco, at $800 a month.
Nottingham, a mechanic, said, "I am not
pleased with the work done since last
ODPM head: Unless something drastic is done...
Flooding will continue in Diego Martin
"What will happen is that the roads will become the
rivers, once the rains fall. There is no other way right now.
We have been telling the residents that the way their
homes are built...you can't prevent what is happening
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