Goodwood resident calls for help

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo – David Reid

At the mercy of coastal erosion, one Goodwood resident is now appealing for help from the Tobago House of Assembly (THA).

Wendy DesVignes raised the issue on Tuesday as the THA’s Executive Council hosted a district town hall meeting with the electoral district of Mt. St. George/Goodwood. The meeting, which took place at the Mt. St. George Community Centre, was attended by THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine, electoral representative Megan Morrison and several other THA representatives.

According to DesVignes, she lives at Cambridge Trace which is nearby the sea. She said the sea was eroding the properties and taking away a lot of the land space.

“What I would like please for whoever in charge of infrastructure is to do for us in a really quick way is to come down and look at it and see if we can get a basket because just now the sea would be heading to Miss Agnes because it’s really, really bad and I’ll like somebody to come and have a look at it.”

In an immediate response, Augustine said though he was unaware of the issue, he was willing to offer some assistance.

“I asked for there to be a team to come and visit the area and that we can do. We can have the coastal protection unit come out and look at it and do an assessment.”

He added: “I can tell you, we went around the island with the CDB, that the Caribbean Development Bank and looked especially at the windward coast. That’s the windward coast and they told us that we’ll need close to $1 billion or more to remedy some of the problems. The reality is that we don’t have $1 billion or more to just fix all of the coastal challenges that we have across the island. The problem is vast and so we’ll have to treat with the issues based on a priority list.”

He said at this time there is a priority list.

“There’s an area in Plymouth and that has approved funding from CAF, that is the Latin American Development Bank. The last time I checked, the drawings and so were just being completed and CAF was preparing to come up to meet with the team at infrastructure to begin to disburse funds for that. We also have Grange as a priority area – that too is a priority area that requires some fixing. Then we have some serious issues in that peninsula going around Pigeon Point, going around Buccoo, some serious issues in that area too. That too is on the priority list and then on top of that, we are being asked to consider doing some more work down at Magdalena Grand. We have some work to do at Scarborough we have where the coastguard base is, along that end, some more work to do there and then we have the whole of Windward. Some work was done in Roxborough already and then some more needs to be done in Argyle, Kendell area.”

He added: “I am pointing this out to say that we live on an island that is challenged by the rising sea levels, challenged by climate change and to meet those challenges, there is no way in the Tobago budget we could meet all of those challenges immediately.”