Ravi Ratiram

MP for Couva North Ravi Ratiram says the blame for the recent flooding in his constituency lies squarely on the Minister of Works and Transport. He says that maintenance activity that is conducted by the Ministry’s Drainage Division has not taken place in Couva North for quite some time. The following is a press release from the MP’s office:

Prior to my assumption of office as the Member of Parliament for Couva North, one of the most serious perennial problems that the residents of Couva North have faced is flooding. Over this past weekend, parts of Couva North including McBean, Roystonia, Exchange and Perseverance were literally under water from thunderstorm activity on Saturday (18/09/2021).

While this occurred, other parts of Trinidad remained unaffected. However, the list of distressed areas and the extent to which these villages in Couva North are being affected has been increasing, with the evident explanation being poor water run-off due to the Government’s neglect.

In this instance, the blame lies squarely on the Minister of Works and Transport, who is responsible for the cleaning of outfall drains. This maintenance activity that is to be conducted by the Ministry’s Drainage Division is required ahead of the rainy season each year, but has not taken place in Couva North for quite some time.

The residents of Couva North are no stranger to the level of disrespect that the Ministry of Local Government has dished out over the past six years, given the lack of funding to the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation (CTTRC), making drainage and clearing works an uphill battle, and certainly near impossible.

While our Local Government representatives try their best with whatever little resources are given to them, it is a far cry from what other Corporations, specifically those controlled by the PNM, receive. Now it seems that, to add to their woes, the Ministry of Works and Transport has turned its back on Couva North as well.

Each and every time the constituency floods, Councillors are overwhelmed with requests for assistance from their burgesses, as flood waters rise into their properties, leaving in its wake untold health hazards, which now includes the infestation of the Giant African Snail, a carrier of meningitis. On Saturday, it was a crying shame to see persons have to come out and push their vehicles after shutting down in flood waters that were more than two (2) feet high in some areas.

Are the constituents of Couva North not deserving of fair and equal treatment under this PNM Government? This level of disdain shown to the people of Couva North will not be tolerated!

I am therefore calling on Minister of Works and Transport, Rohan Sinanan as well as Minister of Local Government, Kazim Hosein to have the watercourses in Couva North cleaned and cleared, including desilting of the major outfall drains in the areas most severely affected by Saturday’s rains.

Government Ministers must be held to account not only for their actions, but their inaction as well. As the Member of Parliament for Couva North, I have a duty to hold these non-performing Ministers to account and in so doing, let the people of Trinidad & Tobago determine whether these Ministers, as part of the Rowley-led Government, are fit for office.