Commentary: No Flooding Plan

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By Neil Gosine

FLOODING is a major issue as intense rainfall pounded Trinidad from Monday evening into Wednesday last week.

The reports all over are the same and continue to be the same every year where the Ministry of Works’ Drainage Division continues to fail us every year consistently.

They don’t prepare properly for the rainy season and although we are not in the rainy season yet the watercourses have not been maintained along many areas in Trinidad and Tobago.

All over the country we have reports of flooding that has repeatedly caused residents thousands of dollars in damage to their property. We have Rio Claro, Mayaro, St Ann’s Road, Biche, Caltoo Trace in Plum Mitan, roads in Siparia, Penal, Debe, Egypt Main Road, Point Fortin and the Southern Main Road to just name a few.

Reports of flooding all over the country. Only devastation and mayhem across the country with people’s cars flooded out, livestock drowned and crops damaged.

The Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan knows the issues well yet every time it’s the same story and same spin doctor’s response on the topic.

Oh, the first responders are the regional corporations when flooding occurs. Who remembers last year when the same thing happened and his response was exactly the same? Respond like this, well basically we had in the last three days inclement weather and unusual amount of water and that’s why we experienced the flooding.

When will things be put in place to handle the flash flooding and prevent this from reoccurring? Why is it that in these areas they can not plan for the flooding and deal with the drainage to remove the stagnated waters quickly. All we get from our Government representatives are lip service and “old talk.”

Some type of spin doctor response like, “We are doing the investigation to make sure that blockage is cleared.” Something that occurs every time and you come with the same old story. Not good enough Mr Minister!

Go back to last year’s reports and see the same response from the Minister, where he said someone similar like that it was not a normal amount of rain for the month of April in a short time period. However, Mr Minister this is the norm now so you have been in office so long now and yet you haven’t prepared for it? Really disappointed in your response.

The disconnection between the ministry of works  and the residential areas is unbelievable. We wonder where these people live? Is it the first time these areas have flooded? Not to mention the capital, Port of Spain, our city has flooded again and again once there is a heavy downpour. We are flooding all over the place and yet we have no water in our pipes to engage in clean up and this is another major issue we face everyday in Trinidad and Tobago. Water supply and shortage is a terrible problem and an easy way get people sick.

The Citizens of Trinidad and Tobago have no representation at all and have to depend on themselves by taking their own proactive steps to alleviate flooding in their areas. We have elected these people for lip service and excuses! The most basic engineering solutions can be done to alleviate this problem and help drain of the water quickly. The citizens themselves worked on digging a watercourse to the sea to drain the excessive water. A fact unknown to the Minister of Works and Transport apparently. All I can do is shake my head and bow in despair.

Dr Neil Gosine is an insurance executive and president of the Valsayn North Park Association. He is also the treasurer of the UNC and a former chairman of the National Petroleum Marketing Company of Trinidad and Tobago. He holds a Doctorate in Business Administration, a Master’s in Business Administration MBA, BSC in Mathematics and a BA in Administrative Studies. The views and comments expressed in this column are not necessarily those of AZP News, a Division of Complete Image Limited.


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