The 14 Regional and Municipal Corporations across Trinidad are said to be heavily involved in preparations for the upcoming rainy and hurricane seasons.

Confirmation has come from Minister of Rural Development and Local Government, Senator Kazim Hosein, who recently held discussions with Mayors, Chairmen and CEOs of the Corporations.

“Public Health and Sanitation Units have been clearing drains and minor water courses throughout the year,” he stated. “Of course, this is in addition to spraying exercises for mosquitoes and the clearing of illegal dumping sites.”

The Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government currently is collaborating with the Ministry of Health and various key stakeholders as additional strategies and precautionary measures are developed in light of COVID-19.

Minister Hosein commented on preparations being made by the Disaster Management Units.

“The data is telling us to expect a very active hurricane season, so it is critical that our disaster response mechanisms are in place early,” he said. “There are also new concerns about shelter management and the provision of relief items in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are planning for those possibilities as well.”

Minister Hosein also commended all local government representatives and the many essential employees who continue to execute their mandate throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister and top Ministry officials are expected to have a virtual meeting with representatives of all Municipal Corporations soon, during which further updates on preparation measures throughout the municipalities will be provided.

Disaster Management Unit Coordinators of all 14 Municipal Corporations attended a meeting to discuss rainy season preparations at Kent House yesterday (13.05.2020).  Discussions also included COVID-19 precautionary measures in the event of a disaster. (Image: Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government)

At present, the Drainage Division of the Ministry of Works and Transport is providing support to Corporations in the clearing of large water courses.

Minister Hosein is expected to visit those Corporations which were severely impacted by flooding last year, to inspect their rainy season preparations and flood mitigation works.

As preparations for the rainy season continue, the Minister is reminding burgesses to report instances of illegal dumping to Municipal Corporations, as this practice exacerbates public health and safety risks and increases the potential for and severity of flooding in nearby areas.

“The majority of citizens obey the law; however, a small number of individuals insist on breaking the law with no concern for how it affects their neighbour,” Minister Hosein points out. “I encourage citizens to report illegal dumping. You can make a report to the Municipal Police or notify the Litter Wardens.”

“You can also reach out to your local government representatives or the Ministry. Take pictures or videos and send it to us. With your help we can hold perpetrators to account. We all have a part to play in keeping our communities clean, and by extension, ensuring that our country is ready for the rainy season,” he added.

The fines for illegal dumping now stand at four thousand dollars ($4,000) for individuals, and eight thousand dollars ($8,000) for organisations.