Help has started pouring in for victims of Wednesday’s destructive funnel cloud, which caused roods to be blown off homes and left other structures damaged.
Officials from the Disaster Management Unit of the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation, Ministry of Social Development, Self Help Committee and Couva North MP Ravi Ratiram visited about 19 families, who were adversely affected, including a family at School Street and Ragoonanan Road West in Chandanagore in Carapichaima.
Forms were given out to the victims to be filled out for the respective grants.
The staff of the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, via a media release, confirmed that they reached out to render immediate disaster relief assistance to the affected families, including the family of Khadene Beharry Crowe who lives with her husband, Abid Ali, her three children and neice.
Officials indicated that the entire family is still traumatized by the incident, and is now grateful for any assistance provided, since “most of their furniture and appliances, school supplies and food supplies were all destroyed.”
Speaking with the Guardian Media yesterday during a visit Beharry Crowe said a lot of people were reaching out to help, “I appreciate all the calls so far and people from the ministry and other organizations who visited us to get a first-hand view of the damage because I lost everything. I have to rebuild the roof and rewire the entire house and replace all appliances and electronic items including my children’s laptops that they used for their online classes.”
Beharry Crowe disclosed that because of the deplorable roads in the area, the hiab truck despatched by the Office of Disaster Preparedness Management on Wednesday night could not access the area.
“So because of this the flooding and narrow roads the truck could not have come in to dismantle what was left of the roof but we got lots of help from family and friends to manually dismantle it. A lot of people are pledging to help with estimates but we need as much help as possible to get back on track. My children and niece who witnessed the destruction are traumatized and have not rested since,” Beharry Crowe said.
The ministry’s release indicated that officers from to the National Social Development Programme (NSDP) and National Family Services Division of the Ministry of Social Development visited the family of six, as well as other affected persons and conducted assessments to provide the necessary disaster relief assistance.
According to Director of the NSDP, Patricia De Leon Henry, “My heart goes out to this family and we are doing everything that we can to help them feel a sense of comfort and encouragement at this time”.
“One of the children is still distressed from the incident and we will be providing counselling support to the family,” De Leon Henry said.
She also indicated that the family was assessed and will be recommended for the housing repairs grant which amounts to a maximum of $20,000 for persons who were affected by a disaster. She also said the family will be eligible for temporary food support and the household assistance grant from the ministry, to assist in the replacement of household items and the ministry is also prepared to assist with replacing any school items which were lost as a result of the incident.
“While the ministry is unable to replace all that has been lost at this time, it remains committed to assisting in restoring some level of normalcy to all the affected families,” she said.