“Geographic discrimination. That is what Oropouche West and other southern constituencies are suffering under this Government.” That is the view of Oropouche West MP Davendranath Tancoo, who noted that earlier this week when floods inundated the western peninsula, transforming the capital city into a quagmire of mud, silt and debris, Government Ministers magically appeared.
The Ministers brought with them immediate relief efforts with equipment and personnel from several regional corporations and agencies, working overnight to clear Port of Spain’s streets, rivers and environs of the detritus left in the wake of the floods. Tancoo said days before, areas in Central and South Trinidad also experienced devastating floods with some homes being under water for days, and farmers, businesses and homeowners suffering substantial losses.
MP Tancoo noted that this is a perennial problem. Yet Government Ministers do not show up, and instead, pay lip service to the need for urgent infrastructural work which would have assisted in dealing with flooding.
“It cannot be said that they don’t have the resources as they clearly do. However, what they may be lacking is the political will to do the right thing.” According to MP Tancoo, the Ministry of Local Government continues to deprive the Regional Corporations in Siparia and Penal/Debe of funding for basics like fuel for their trucks, excavators and backhoes required to clear and maintain rivers and streams. As for the Ministry of Works, empty promises and half truths about allegedly “completed” projects on floodgates, rivers and waterways means that residents have to brace for more floods invading homes, destroying crops and livestock, and creating mass health concerns yet again. It is reprehensible that in order to avert an even greater disaster, taxpaying citizens were forced to find truckloads of materials on their own, to repair breaches in river banks caused by Government neglect.
MP Tancoo calls on the Minister of Local Government and the Minister of Works and Transport to treat all citizens with the same alacrity as those shown in Port of Spain and environs. If it can be done for Port of Spain and Greenvale, it can be done for Woodland and San Francique too!