Having been hailed as heroes for rescuing over 400 people when floods waters reached the roofs of homes in Kelly Village, the Kalpoo brothers are now combing through the mangrove villages of the Central Plains trying to find families who have not received any help.
Navin Kalpoo, his brother Ravi and their team from Ibis Tours, yesterday went to the back of Sieunarine Trace to find the families who were unreachable because of the floods.
Navin said many Good Samaritans had come to the villages but turned back when the oilsand and asphalt roads reached to the point of becoming a mud track.
“People saying they got no help but this is because some vehicles could not reach certain areas. We grew up in the mangroves and we know all the villages, so we are working from the back up to the front to make sure that no family was left behind,” Navin said.
He explained that since Saturday his team had been distributing food and supplies to residents.
“We wanted to make sure that people got supplies so we delivered it ourselves,” Navin said.
He explained, however, that some people were continuing to “bad beg” and stockpiling supplies. “There is some exploitation, where people are calling for supplies and are getting more than their fair share, while other areas are getting little or none,” Navin said.
He said the reason he is still in the villages doing assessment was that he was not satisfied that all families got assistance.
Navin also shrugged off comments that he was deserving of a national award.
“We were in a situation where we had the resources to help. I don’t think I am a hero. I just happened to have the assets at that point to help. They were crying out to us for help. The water was gushing and people were up on their roofs crying. They were terrified. I said let’s go help. We did not think twice,” Navin said.
He said they made about 20 trips on Saturday and each trip had about 20 people.
Kelly Village experienced severe flooding after the heavy showers on Friday and by Saturday the waters were so high it washed away cars and homes. Residents climbed on their roofs to escape the rising waters.
Navin and his brother run Ibis tours in the Caroni Bird Sanctuary. The brothers said they were not taking cash donations but were accepting food and medical supplies. Kalpoo can be reached at 303-4287.
- by Radhica De Silva