Political Leader of the United National Congress and Leader of the Opposition, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP, today visited several communities in her constituency which have been affected by flooding following three days of persistent rainfall.
Speaking to reporters as she visited affected areas, at one point in a canoe, the Siparia MP empathized with flood victims, and knocked the lack of response by the Government and its agencies in providing assistance, not only to her constituents, but to other areas of the country affected by flooding.
“It is truly heartbreaking to see the level of devastation as a result of the floods, and to hear the cries for help from so many distraught families,” Mrs. Persad-Bissessar said.
“A disaster of this scope requires urgent action, and we have heard little from the Government on what is being done,” she noted. “I heard the Prime Minister this afternoon, two days after the flooding emergency began, speaking of mobilization of the Defence Force, but he offered no comfort to citizens during this critical time.”
“There continues to be no coordination taking place among the relief agencies, and hundreds of families are suffering, with no idea what help, if any, is coming,” the Opposition Leader said.
“It is regrettable that this Government moved to effectively dismantle the National Operations Centre, which played a pivotal role in intelligence sharing for collaboration within law enforcement agencies,” the Opposition Leader said. “As we saw following the passage of Tropical Storm Bret, and other severe weather episodes in recent months, the Rowley-led Government has no plan to deal with disasters.”
“I must again commend the Members of Parliament, Councillors and Aldermen who have been working tirelessly, as well as those brave and generous citizens who have given of themselves to assist where they can,” Mrs. Persad-Bissessar said.
“The people in my constituency, and across Trinidad and Tobago need urgent help, and urgent action is required from the Government,” she said. “The Prime Minister has a duty to every citizen of the country, and it is the Government’s responsibility to protect and provide for the citizens.”
“Today, I saw the pain of the people affected by this disaster, but I also saw once again, the strength and resilience of our people,” Mrs. Persad-Bissessar said. “In the absence of leadership demonstrated by Keith Rowley and his Ministers, I urge citizens to help; to do what you can to provide some relief and assistance to those in need.”