Thursday, January 18, 2018

Illegal dumping a major cause of flooding

Not even this sign could prevent the dumping of garbage at Speyside, Tobago. Photo: RICHARD CHARAN

Stop blaming and start acting, says Tabaquite MP Surujrattan Rambachan.

Rambachan was responding to Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein who identified illegal dumping as a major cause of flooding in areas across the country.

Hosein said improper disposal of debris was one of the leading causes of flooding as the garbage causes drains to become clogged and prevents the run-off of water.

Rambachan called on the minister to utilise litter warden and test the laws of littering in the courts. He said many litter wardens were inactive and neglecting their responsibilities.

This, he said, has been due to poor municipal management and deficit leadership by both the ministry and the corporations.

“You cannot continue to blame. This is a reflection of your own incompetence and lack of leadership action. The nation is fed up of this irresponsible approach to managing where everyone else except the government is being blamed. The result is chaos and frustration,” he said.

Rambachan added that the Minister of Works and Transport had also failed in clean-up operations and dredging water courses as well as identifying areas for retention ponds to control the volume and flow of water.

Several areas across the country were flooded following days of persistent rainfall last week.

Roads in Barrackpore were impassable and some 20 homes in Woodland were still under flood waters on Tuesday.

Penal/Debe Regional Corporation chairman Dr Allen Sammy said farmers have also suffered severe losses as crops were destroyed in the flood.

He said the minister had visited as in previous flooding but nothing was done to improve the situation.

Sammy agreed that illegal dumping was a major contributor to flooding. But he also noted that water courses were not being cleared regularly.

He said the Government should also embark on an education drive on flooding and how it can be prevented.