OPPOSITION Member of Parliament Colm Imbert says unless the State is going to compensate the residents affected by flooding in Diego Martin after heavy rains last Saturday August 11, the announcement that damage has been estimated in excess of $109 million "just hangs in the air and does not really mean anything".
Imbert, Diego Martin North East MP, made the statement yesterday in response to preliminary estimates given by Anthony Sammy, chairman of the Diego Martin Regional Corporation, on Tuesday.
Sammy said an initial assessment of damage in Diego Martin stood at $109,943,600.
Sammy said he expected the cost to rise.
Questioned on Sammy's statement and who would be expected to foot the bill for those homeowners who are not insured, Imbert said:
"I think he (Sammy) was just talking out of turn. I do not understand why he said it. I think he needs to explain."
"Unless someone told him the State is going to compensate the affected homeowners and residents, his statement just hangs in the air and does not really mean anything," Imbert said.
Contacted by the Express yesterday and asked whether the State would be assisting affected homeowners who were not insured, Local Government Minister Suruj Rambachan said that question would be better posed to Finance Minister Larry Howai.
Attempts to contact Howai proved futile yesterday.
Sammy yesterday said there was no signalled intention by the State to provide assistance to flood victims outside of the grants already on offer.
The Emergency Cases Fund from the Ministry of the People and Social Development provides assistance to affected flood victims.
Among the grants administered under the Emergency Cases Fund are the household items grant, the clothing grant and the housing repairs grant.