Rowley gets earful
Saturday, September 8 2012
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UNHAPPY: Flood victim Marjorie Superville vents her frustration to her Member of Parliament and Opposition PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley during a fact-fi...
IT WAS an emotional day for Diego Martin residents yesterday as they shared stories of neglect since their homes were flooded out after heavy rains on August 11. Almost 100 residents gathered at the St Michael and All Angels Parish Hall in Diego Martin to share their stories with their Member of Parliament (Diego Martin West) and Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley.
Many fought back tears, some spoke with anger and others related their frustration with those in Government who promised to assist them.
Karamona Muari said this was the “most tired she has ever felt” in her life as she spends every day visiting the Ministry of the People and Social Development seeking help. She explained that six years ago, her home was flooded and she and her family including her ailing father rebuilt their home in Factory Road which was made out of wood. They began to build a concrete structure which was to be their new home nearby.
She said on the day when the heavy rains came, she felt the house drop as it came off its foundation. Murai said soon after, an official from the ministry came, took pictures, took their information but in making checks she found out that official went on holiday a few days after.
“They are playing games, now no one has my information but I continue to go there everyday for them to see me to ensure I get help but it is hard,” she said. Her family has since moved into the incomplete concrete structure which has no windows and no doors.
“My father has suffered two strokes and a mild heart attack, imagine someone like him staying in something like that, we need help. People are just taking pictures and leaving, nobody is talking to you and telling you what is next. We want to know what is next, I am fed up,” she said.
Government has assisted several families within the Diego Martin and Maraval area who were affected by those floods. Twenty-three families were relocated to Oropune Gardens in Piarco, the Ministry of Housing distributed 275 grants for basic home repairs while the Ministry of the People and Social Development gave 156 cheques to several families as well as 50 temporary food cards were distributed along with emergency food hampers.
Another woman, Marjorie Superville said she needs her retaining wall fixed and she has appealed to all the ministries but nothing has been done. The wall which was brought down by flood waters separated her property from the ravine.
“If the rains come again the water will come into my home, I need my wall. I am a retiree I can’t afford that, I need my fence to fix back please,” she pleaded.
During the meeting, one man shouted that Rowley as MP had helped no one especially in Richplain. However he was booed by other persons and abruptly left. Rowley said that the man had came with an “assignment”, from whom, “I don’t know”, and that he (Rowley) had come to deal with those constituents who are affected.
There were also complaints of persons who suffered little or no damage from the rains receiving priority assistance from the Ministry. At the end of the meeting Rowley promised the residents he will seek a meeting with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, “to impress upon her the urgency of an understanding and treating” with their needs.