Williamsville residents complain about floods

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Ben Lomond/Hardbargain councillor Alvin Kyree Daniel beat one of two effigies, or bobolees are they are known locally, which are supposed to represent two governmet ministers on Thursday during a protest in the area. – Lincoln Holder

NAPARIMA MP Rodney Charles joined constituents and residents of Ben Lomond Village in Williamsville on Thursday to call on the Government to properly dredge a river in the area.

They say they are fed up with flooding in the rainy season and want the Government to fix the drainage problems.

They held placards at Coconut Drive near Garth River, a tributary of the Guaracara River.

“What is required is a comprehensive survey of the water flow from the Central range straight to the Gulf of Paria,” Charles told reporters.

He said from what he was told, the flooding is caused by various factors like people dumping stuff in the river, trees falling in the river and uncontrolled construction.

Charles said it was the Government’s job to fix the problem. He said he raised the issue many times in Parliament. He added that Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan responded that the Government is doing a survey.

He said the question asked of the minister was, “When will you begin the dredging?”

Charles said the work could not be done during the rainy season when flood usually happens.

Charles urged the minister do his work and appealed to the Finance Ministry for financial resources.

“The millions of dollars lost by citizens in terms of loss of crops, loss of livestock, loss of equipment, equipment, it is too much,” Charles said.

“When the rainy season comes and flooding takes place in this area, the fault would lie with the Government and the person responsible— Rohan Sinanan.

He said praedial larceny was also plaguing the area and called on the National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds to deal with the issue.

One placard referred to the Naparima constituency as TT’s “hornchild.”

Resident Toolsie Ganga, 56, said that flooding was the major problem in the area and it has been happening since he was a child.

“Floods are destroying not only homes and livestock but everything else,” he said.

“Every two to three years, they (the authorities) send an excavator to clean the river. They uproot all the trees on the side of the riverbank, but they are not straightening the river. There are a lot of bends in the river which causes restrictions.”

Another resident Parbatie Jacob, 57, said she had been a flood victim many times.

She said she does not know what to expect in the rainy season.

Apart from household items, she lost animals in the floods.

Councillor for the area Alvin Keyree Daniel joined with protestors and beat two effigies depicting two government ministers.