The residents who reside in the constituency of Cumuto/Manzanilla are calling on the Government to respond to their urgent cry for assistance in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Bret.The constituency of Cumuto/Manzanilla was hit hard by Bret resulting in severe damage to many homes and businesses in the area.
The river in North Oropouche overflowed its banks making impassable which meant many persons cannot access their homes or purchase supplies to sustain them should the waters not subside.
MP for the constituency Christine Newallo-Hosein expressed outrage today about the lack of support and from both the Central and Local Government.
She said that area councillors of the Sangre Grande Regional Council have been constraint to adequately assist their burgesses by the lack of resources available to the SGRC.
She said constituents approaching the first responders – that is the corporation for sand bags were given empty bags and they had to procure their own sand.
Newallo-Hosein was today touring parts of the district of Plum Mitan where losses to farmers have been mounting; their crops, especially the rice fields have all but disappeared with the floods.
Cumuto/Manzaniila, like most of South Trinidad, seems to have been abandoned by the Rowley-led Administration.
The former Minister of the People and Social Development in the Persad-Bissessar led Administration reminisced working alongside the Regional Corporations/Boroughs during events like Bret, assessing the damages and ensuring that most persons received their cheques within one week for replacement items such as stoves, refrigerators and other items damaged by the flood waters.
She recalled the three major incidences involving flooding during the period 2010-2015. On each occasion, the UNC MPs and Ministers were on the ground assessing the situation and providing immediate relief.
But then again, Newallo-Hosein was quick to point out, we had a Prime Minister who demanded accountability from her Team.
The Persad-Bissessar’s Administration employed superior and well-trained staff who worked sometimes in excess of 20 hours performing necessary site visits.
But sadly, this has all been dismantled by Prime Minister Rowley and today the people are left suffering on their own.
She lamented that its been over 72 hours since Bret and there has been no sighting of the Minister of Social Development and Family Services during a time that the country is in a crisis and no statement has been issued assuring the affected population that site visits will be conducted.
Is it because they have fired the staff? Is it because they are still in the process of establishing a policy?
Newallo-Hosein, who is using a pair of crutches to get around, said she was not surprised at the response of the Rowley-led Administration to this national crisis. She recalled raising the issue of the big floods in Matelot recently in Parliament and asked the Government if it was prepared to respond to such disasters. Obviously, she said, they did not take the Matelot floods seriously or else they would have been better prepared for Bret.