Chaguanas Mayor Faaiq Mohammed. (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)

Heads of regional bodies in Central Trinidad are calling on the Ministry of Social Development and the National Commission for Self Help Limited to fast-track grants to recent victims of floods and high winds that damaged over 100 roofs.

On Sunday, Chaguanas Mayor Faaiq Mohammed told Guardian Media that at least 20 of the 40-plus persons who had their roofs damaged in Central Trinidad were elderly people.

According to Mayor Mohammed, many of the victims are pensioners who are without any substantial source of income and who are surviving on their savings. 

“One man spent his savings to repair his roof and it is really heart-breaking to hear that,” he said.

Mayor Mohammed said the Chaguanas Borough Council (CBC) completed the removal of fallen trees and assessing damages done to homes.

“We would transfer that information to social welfare to ensure that these persons who were adversely affected would gain some support from government to get their life back in order,” the mayor said, stating that these disasters should be given high priority across T&T.  

The Chaguanas Mayor also reported that the CBC’s Disaster Management Unit (DMU) has been restocked with relief supplies as tarpaulins, mattresses, and food support items. 

Henry Awong, the Chairman of the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation (CTTRC), said just over 66 houses suffered damage because of high winds on Thursday.

 “These people are in dire need of relief,” Awong said.  “Many are without any substantial income because of the fallout from the restrictions placed on the population to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Many have now made alternate living arrangements to stay with relatives and other persons, but these people need to get their lives back in order ASAP.”

He added: “We are already living in challenging times, and I appeal to the authorities to fast track the applications for assistance. We at the CTTRC are doing the assessments and it should be submitted this week.”