MP Ameen: St Augustine, Bamboo flood victims yet to get grants

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

FLASHNBACK: Disaster volunteer Edwin Amrit leads a dinghy through chest-high floodwaters in Bamboo #2 where several stranded families had to be rescued during flooding in December 2022. Three months later, St Augustine MP Khadijah Ameen claims some of the victims are yet to receive their flood-relief grants. FILE PHOTO –

ST AUGUSTINE MP Khadijah Ameen is calling on the Ministry of Social Development to deal with outstanding flood grants.

In a press release, she claimed that after the floods in December, hundreds of residents in St Augustine, particularly St Augustine South and Bamboo No2, were seriously affected and sought help from that ministry.

“Three months have passed but some of them are yet to receive their flood grant which is up to a maximum of $10,000.”

She said that several people lost most and some cases, all of their household belongings, but only received grants of $2,500. She added that at today’s prices, this really was a paltry sum which was inadequate to replace major but commonplace appliances and electrical household items.

The MP said residents followed all the ministry’s verification guidelines for requesting assistance but are still waiting for their cheques.

“I’ve also encountered a number of people who did not receive (verification) calls  who decided to contact the ministry themselves only to find out that they are not even on the database.

“Upon checking with the regional corporation, their names were not there either despite them being visited by both ministry officials and members of the Disaster Management Unit following the floods.”

St Augustine MP Khadijah Ameen. –

Ameen said she has sent correspondence to the minister (Donna Cox) on behalf of the people whose names appeared to be deleted from the database to ensure they couldstill be accommodated.

“These residents have all the proof of the damage and loss they suffered from the floods and they also live in the midst of the area that was affected and where the ministry collected data (after the floods). So I am hoping there would be fairness shown to all the victims of flooding,” Ameen said.

She also appealed to the ministry to be reasonable with the compensation being given out in the grants, as most would have suffered major losses.

In terms of preventing a recurrence of the massive flooding in December, she confirmed that work has begun on clearing and de-silting the St Joseph River and some of the water courses south of the Churchill Roosevelt Highway, “which is long overdue.”

In fact, she said, had the ministry (of Works and Transport) “acted in a preventative manner when appeals were made by myself, the councillors and members of the community before the floods of last year, most of the damage and destruction witnessed could have been prevented.”

She claimed that river banks are badly eroded and floodgates are leaking due to wear and tear and lack of maintenance by the authorities.

“Talking about flood prevention is not the solution, we need preventative action. I am calling on the ministry to complete this work on time and ensure that maintenance is in place to prevent a further catastrophe during this year’s rainy season as we experienced in December.”