THE PNM CAUSED UNPRECEDENTED FLOOD DAMAGE BY REFUSING TO SPEND $74m FOR FLOOD PREVENTION, AND IS NOW SPENDING $150m IN EMERGENCY FLOOD RELIEF
MP Saddam Hosein in Parliament on Friday called out the shocking irresponsibility of Keith Rowley’s PNM government with regard to the flooding devastation throughout Trinidad last week.
MP Hosein revealed that in 2022 Parliament approved the PNM Budget to allocate $91.9 million for drainage and flood prevention. However, over 80 percent ($74.3 million) was NOT spent by this Government to prevent flooding.
The details are as follows:
|Flood mitigation erosion||$29.9 million||$7 million|
|Drainage and irrigation||$31 million||$5.3 million|
|Major river clearing programme||$12 million||$1.5 million|
|Infrastructure rehabilitation and Flood mitigation programme||$4 million||$800,000|
|Upgrade to fix the existing drainage pumps||$15 million||$3 million|
|TOTALS||$91.9 million||$17.6 million|
The irresponsibility of the Rowley Government has resulted in the worst flood damage and destruction that this country has seen, perhaps in history.
Millions of dollars have been lost in agricultural produce, property damage, roads, bridges, light poles, household appliances, furniture, cherished personal items, essential documents and papers, and even lost lives.
The question immediately arises where did this money go?
Why did Keith Rowley think it was more important to refurbish the President’s House for $89 million, or the Prime Minister’s Tobago Residence for $63 million, than to spend the outstanding $74.3 million to maintain, repair and improve our infrastructure, drains and rivers to protect our citizens all over Trinidad and Tobago?
And now, after the millions of dollars in unprecedented damage, the government is going to spend $150 million dollars in flood relief instead. This is more than twice the unspent allocations.
Rohan Sinanan and Faris Al-Rawi can try to blame climate change or local government bodies all they want. In the end, the responsibility was that of the Ministry of Works to complete the undertakings for which they sought approval and funding from Parliament last year. They are trying to unsuccessfully shield their heartless leader.
Making matters worse, Keith Rowley displayed his further contempt for the distraught citizens of Trinidad and Tobago by not being present for the historic debate, as this matter of definite urgent public importance was thankfully allowed by the Deputy Speaker of the House.
Keith Rowley appears to think that pledging the $150 million flood relief funds was enough, and has nothing further to say on the matter.
However, we know that this promised relief is mamaguay, pappyshow and further frustration for citizens, as there are people still waiting on their 2020 salary relief grants and some even waiting for their 2018 flood relief grants.
Rowley compounded his disrespect to affected citizens by dismissing the Opposition’s concerns as “flood politics”, as if this were an insult. This was parrotedA by his minions in Parliament.
Maintenance of infrastructure, and protecting the lives and property of citizens and the state is absolutely a matter of politics. The UNC is proud to advocate “flood politics”, just as we are proud to have been called a “box drain government”. These are no insults at all.
It is only an insult to those who think that serving the people of Trinidad and Tobago is beneath them, and who think instead that the people of Trinidad and Tobago should serve them.
This vicious Rowley PNM government continues to wreak havoc and destruction in every aspect of life in Trinidad and Tobago, from infrastructure, to the Constitution, to our physical safety and security, and more.
We cannot allow them to continue their Reign of Terror until 2025. The UNC invites all citizens to join the March for Democracy on 10 December 2022, starting in Palo Seco, to voice your discontent, and demand fresh elections as soon as possible.
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Dr. Kirk Meighoo
Public Relations Officer
United National Congress