FLASHBACK - Homes in St Helena under flood waters, back in August 2021. (Image: ABRAHAM DIAZ)

Member of Parliament for St. Augustine, and the Opposition’s Shadow Local Government Minister, Khadijah Ameen MP, is calling on the Government to establish a clear policy on disaster management.

This comes after the recent adverse weather event brought on by Tropical Wave 41, which affected Trinidad and Tobago.

The Opposition MP wants Senator Kazim Hosein, Minister of Rural Development and Local Government, to work diligently to ensure Municipal Corporations get the funding they need, so they can maintain fully functional disaster response units.

“For months I have been advocating for proper funding for regional bodies. Some of these regional corporations don’t even have proper finances to purchase sandbags, fuel, emergency gears, first aid supplies, tyres for vehicles, or even transport for officers to do assessments and basic supplies,” the MP lamented in an official release issued today.

MP Ameen also indicated that a couple of advertised disaster shelters in her constituency, such as the Bamboo #3 and the St Augustine South community centres, are not functional.

The St Augustine MP argues that government and its agencies’ have been very slow in bringing relief to affected persons. She claimed that since the last flooding event some two weeks ago, many persons are still awaiting assessments for damages.

“Some persons are yet to receive compensation and assistance to be able to go back to their normal life,” she revealed.

According to MP Ameen, disaster management is important “because it aims to ensure an effective and coordinated response to disasters”.

“Through work to save lives and reduce the impact of crises on affected communities, disaster management is fundamental to timely and effectual assistance to disaster hit people,” she explained.

She added: “Through the ODPM, Central Government must ensure national collaboration among various stakeholders to guarantee that relief efforts are swift, timely and efficient. And through the Regional Corporations’ Disaster Management Units, the Ministry of Rural Development and Local government must ensure that these bodies are given the resources they need for disaster relief efforts.”

MP Ameen also stated in her statement that she wants to see government articulate and implement clear measures and plans to ensure proper disaster management response and relief.