Stop talking; fix the drainage system
As a resident of Maraval I can attest to the destruction of property caused by the November 2011 floods (two floodings within a three-day period).
The Maraval River overflowed its banks earlier in June 2011 and so did the La Seiva ravine, now elevated to the status of "river". The destruction should have signalled the authorities (Works, WASA, Public Utilities, Diego Martin Regional Corporation) the potential for far more serious consequences should these rivers once more overflow.
Well what we, the residents and business people of the affected areas got was several ministerial and governmental agencies, delegations of experts etc visiting us on several occasions, assuring us that the "finest engineers and planners were fast at work and soon, very soon this problem of flooding will be a thing of the past".
We waited for action, instead we saw clogged drains remain so, huge rocks, boulders and heavy silt in some areas of both rivers high with the remnants of silt and sludge from last November.
The safety rails on the La Seiva bridge are yet to be replaced, the undermined retaining walls of both rivers damaged by the heavy trees, boulders and so on still unattended, the list goes on. The Ministry of Works and its engineers and the nice lady councillor from the Diego Martin Regional Corporation are well aware of all these issues. Unfortunately they are not the decision makers, so they can only offer solace and promises.
We heard talk about dams and detention/retention ponds higher up in Maraval or wherever to capture and hold the water and so lessen the rising volumes of horrible silt, sludge, branches etc and water that ultimately flow down the Maraval River, we heard the river will be deepened, especially in the La Seiva region, as was done some years ago further down, resulting in no more floods for some of the Fairways residents whose homes are close to the Maraval River. We heard that the WASA pipes will be removed from under the bridges. And on and on.
Now it is the Diego Martin River and the La Horquette River. We have to start the work. We are too busy talking and blaming. Enough. Start to take action before and not after the fact. We seem to be doing okay after the fact, so we know we can start to take decisions and commence the work and sooner than later. Please.
If we know all these efforts will be the beginning of the prevention of floods, why still all the talk and promises? If Trinidad was Holland (which is below sea level) all now so we would be ... I don't want to contemplate any further.