Diego flood assistance slow, but clean-up almost done
By JANELLE DE SOUZA Saturday, September 21 2013
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AFTER-FLOOD WOES: Resident of Savannah Terrace, Diego Martin, Dexter George points to where a retaining wall was stopped as he stands in a nearby ravi...
Clean-up operations from the September 13 flood which devastated the homes of some residents of Diego Martin are almost complete.
However, some residents complained that little in the way of assistance was meted out to them.
Dexter George of Savannah Terrace, Bagatelle, Diego Martin who lived near a bridge on the Bagatelle River, told Newsday the only assistance he received was a hamper with bleach, a blanket and a pack of soya. “We saw a selective distribution of relief items by our former councillor, Lisa Maharaj, but I didn’t get any,” he stated.
George noted government contractors came with a backhoe, made an entrance to the river in his front yard, “did a quick thing, scrape the riverbed and went”. In addition, the contractor left river silt and dirt all over his front yard. He had to call in the Corporation to clear some of the dirt.
He added that several of his appliances were destroyed, including his fridge, stove and washing machine. “People from the Ministry of the People came around that same Friday (September 13), including the Minister (Glenn Ramadharsingh), and did an assessment of the damage. I signed up my forms and everything, but I haven’t heard anything yet,” he said.
Junior Olivier of Mason Street, had a similar claim. He stated the front portion of his property wall fell down and the cover for his septic tank fell into the tank. “The Ministry people came and walked through on the morning of the flood. They took my name and number and said someone will come to assess the damage, but no one has come as yet,” he said.
“I watched television. In Central, when there is a flood, Ministers go house to house handing out hampers, but not here. We have to go to them and sign up, and then people come with mattresses on a truck, and we have to scramble like ants to get one and tote it away. Not me,” he said.
Olivier noted that members of the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) worked very hard, washing away mud inside and outside his home. He added that Corporation staff pumped out water from his tank while the Red Cross gave him some water, and members of a church passed one day to give him food. However, he said he would not depend on the Government, or anyone else for assistance.
Diego Martin Regional Corporation, Disaster Management Coordinator, Jerry David noted that while most of those affected had completed clean-up operations, the Corporation was still assisting with minor clean-up activities, as well as distributing hampers and mattresses.