Flood action group warns Sinanan: Expect mud delivery if problems not fixed

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Edward Moodie, president of the South Oropouche Riverine Flood Action group, with residents of flood-affected areas in Woodland, protested outside the Ministry of Works’ Drainage Division in Penal, where they delivered a petition. – Lincoln Holder

SOUTH Oropouche Riverine Flood Action Group president Edward Moodie has warned Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan that a truckload of mud may be delivered to his office in Port of Spain, if his ministry does not address ongoing flooding issues in Woodland and environs.

Moodie spoke after the group protested outside the ministry’s office in Penal on Wednesday.

He said the group also delivered a petition and letters about different community groups, highlighting their concerns about different riverbanks in the Woodland area.

Moodie identified the South Oropouche River and the New Cut Channel River as examples of rivers whose banks have been breached in certain areas.

“They (the ministry) have never fixed it properly.”

Moodie said there is a problem with the Kuramata River in Suchit Trace, “where the bank is missing for 40 years now.”

He added this situation has worsened over time with natural erosion.

“Once rain comes up, the Suchit Trace area floods out.”

Moodie said this causes severe inconvenience for many drivers, as there is a major transport artery in the area.

While no timeline was given for the ministry to respond to the group’s concerns, Moodie said, “I did say that if these issues are not resolved, the next truckload of mud will be coming to your office.”

Asked if he was referring to Sinanan’s ministry on Richmond Street in Port of Spain, Moodie replied, “Correct. One truckload of mud, and then they will understand to stop disrespecting the people.”

He claimed the ministry was demonstrating “total disrespect” for people in Woodland by not addressing their concerns.

During a visit to the Tulsa Trace pump site in Penal on June 24, Sinanan said, “I understand the plight of the residents. It is not easy to see everything you have flooding out, especially when it is year after year,”

Earlier in the month, the New Cut Channel broke its banks (north and south), causing massive flooding in the Penal, Debe and Woodland areas.

Sinanan said then that work had started on five major breaches along the New Cut Channel.

He renewed calls for people to stop using tyres and other “temporary things” as barriers to try to repair any breaches in rivers, as such measures would not last.