Tobago family still displaced after roof blown off home

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

TEMA director Allan Stewart –

The Mary’s Hill, Tobago family displaced by heavy rainfall were still trying to find accommodation up to Friday. The family of five were left homeless on Tuesday when high winds toppled their roof to their home by bad weather.

Director of the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) Allan Stewart told Newsday that the roof on the house belonging to Kwesi Baynes was 75 per cent removed and an emergency accommodation had to be provided as a result.

Speaking with Newsday on Friday, one of the displaced, Akeisha Duke-Pereira said the accommodation provided by TEMA was for a period of 72 hours.

“The 72 hours is wherever they take you, you have a place to rest your head for 72 hours in an emergency. Within the 72 hours, you have to find a much suitable accommodation and then the social services department would assist you in paying the rent which is done via invoice.”

She added: “We’re looking to see if we can find some place – we have to move out from the place, so we’re definitely trying to see what we can do.”

She said the situation is that they’re not able to reoccupy the premises at this time, so they have to search within the budget given.

“We’re still looking because we haven’t found anywhere as yet. The maximum on the assistance is $2,500, we have to find a place within that budget and then it’s five persons – four adults and one child which is kind of complicated for us to get that rental figure. But we’re looking into that.”

But, she said, the family was comforted by the assistance received there.

“Social Services, the assistance was good is just that you have to organise and bring in the invoice. So, it’s just for us to find the place, then they would do up the paperwork and go from there to assist.”

She said she has received a food voucher from TEMA and electoral representative Niall George has reached out to the family as well, advising them.

“The owner of the house spoke to him, and he told him to come to the office to fill out a self-help form. So basically, nothing from him financially or even a contribution but just to advice to go to sign up the form.”

She added: “We’re just waiting to get the letter from TEMA and then we’ll go down to the office and get the form, we weren’t able to go to the office as yet.”

She recalled that last Tuesday out of the five, only one of the occupants was home when tragedy struck shortly after 5 am. Another relative, Kyle Jacob said when he got up at around 6 am, he got a phone call from another relative telling him that the roof blew off.

“I came up and I saw the roof blow off. From there, we started to work – we tried to help the man whatever little we could during the rainy time.”