RADHICA DE SILVA
Thick slush covered the floor, yards and walls of residents homes in Gasparillo, Williamsville and Claxton Bay yesterday, one day after the Guaracara River burst its banks causing widespread devastation.
Officials from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management had been on the ground since Monday distributing much-needed mattresses, groceries and tarpaulins.
But following high tides and more rains on Monday night, some residents experienced a second round of flooding.
“We were up since 11 pm, washing and cleaning and this morning it was more slush again,” resident Dian Sanasie-Subero said.
Sweeping away the mud from inside her home, Sanasie-Subero said if the river had been cleaned there would be no floods.
Another resident Roopchan Sanasie said when the water started to come up, his family struggled to take out as many valuables as possible to higher ground.
“They had to help me. I could do nothing,” Roopchan said.
MP for Naparima Rodney Charles toured the flood-stricken areas and called on Works Minister Rohan Sinanan to ensure that the entire river is dredged.
He said Sinanan built a bridge in the area and while that was good, the river also needed immediate de-silting.
Meanwhile, councillor for Reform/Manahambre, Chris Hosein lashed out at the government saying riverine flooding was something that people had grown to expect whenever rains fell.
Saying Monday’s flooding was the worst seen in recent times, Hosein said several requests were made to Sinanan to properly clean the Guaracara River.
“Food victims are still awaiting relief grants from the government since 2017 and they are constantly given a raw deal by the government.
“These are people who pay taxes like anybody else. Why does the government continue to neglect the people in these areas,” Hosein said.
Efforts to contact Works Minister Rohan Sinanan proved futile.
However, in his Budget presentation, Sinanan said over 400 desilting and dredging projects were done for this year.