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A flood of caring: Citizens rally to help victims


Ravi Kalpoo, centre, of Klapoo Tours is assisted by a villager during efforts to help marooned flood victims in central Trinidad.  -Photo: Courtesy Kalpoo Tours

The very best of the people of Trinidad has emerged this weekend.

The flood that caused misery for thousands is being replaced by a flood of caring people who are rallying to provide for those hardest hit.

Citizens are opening their doors to the homeless, providing hot meals, donating food, beds, clothes, and coming into the flood-stricken areas in east, north and central Trinidad in trucks and boats to rescue trapped people.


In this aerial image vehicles are seen along the Uriah Butler Highway which is currently closed to traffic on the southbound lane and open only to SUV’s and trucks on the northbound. -Photo: TEVIN NEWTON 

Navin Kalpoo of Kalpoo Tours is using his powered-engine boat to get to stranded families today.

Kalpoo said: “I was brought up in a culture and atmosphere to help others when they are in need. Seeing the devastation this flood caused and how many people affected, we could not simply sit back and look on, we had to act.

We used boats yesterday (Saturday) and today we will deliver donate items especially to those people in rural communities who couldn’t really get assistance before because of the high flood waters.

I think what other people are doing now and that seeing how many are offering to help, it’s like a ripple effect to kindness. No one asked for this disaster but it happened and we have to help and this is what is means to share that Trini spirit,” said Kalpoo.


Members of the Defence Force give aid as they assist in the clean-up process at Greenvale La Horquetta on Sunday. 

He said people willing to help should not wait for an invitation to do so, nor should they wait to act after observing what the Government is doing.

He said the distribution of items will take place around the Kelly Village area, in particular those ‘hard to reach’ places.

In south Trinidad, which was spared the worst of the bad weather and floods, organisations and groups are gathering items for donation.

Presentation College in San Fernando is urging the public to donate items at the school.

According to teacher Andrew Benjamin, since Tropical Storm Bret, a Flood Relief Drive was established by pupils, staff and former pupils to provide items to those flood stricken victims.


This family at of Greenvale La Horquetta has started the cleaning process on Sunday. Families just as this one will now try to salvage what was left after the flood. 

Donations such as canned foods, beverages, mattresses, pillows, clothing, tarpaulins, first aid supplies and cleaning supplies can be donated.

For more information contact: 652-2311/ 359-8104/ 687-4966

The San Fernando JAMA Masjid is also welcoming citizens to drop off any relief items at its mosque located at #68 Mucurapo Street, San Fernando. The items will be sorted and delivered to the relevant relief agencies to assist flood victims.

Employee at Roopnarine Hardware Limited Gopal Maharaj said one of the ways in which the company is helping people is through using two of its trucks to aid people trapped by floods.

Maharaj said more trucks are expected to be used today as there are many people who are still trapped in their homes and are in need of being helped.

If your vehicle was damaged by the recent floods, Ace Automotive is offering to do the repairs free.

As a means of giving back to those affected by the floods, Anil Hosein, owner of Ace Automotive in Chaguanas said that given this was a national disaster, many people would have already incurred high cost of living and wanted to help ease the burdens of those struggling by offering free mechanical and electrical works for vehicles as this was his way of helping.


This is the scene at Greenvale La Horquetta where the cleaning process has started on Sunday. Families  will now try to salvage what was left after the flood over the past two days.  

He said he may not have the financial capacity to help but through utilising his trade as a mechanic and electrician he can help those in need.

“We can’t just look at what the politicians are doing and do nothing ourselves. We have to help. Today it is them but tomorrow it could be us. We cannot be a bunch of selfish people and I think the business people need to come out and show greater support.

I am offering my services and this is the first time I am doing it. Since yesterday (Saturday) I have received over 200 phone calls asking for my services. Now understand this, some of those calling have two and three vehicles and they can afford to pay to have this done, and those who I wish to help is someone who really struggling and only have one vehicle and have to use that one vehicle for everything. Someone like that is in need of assistance,” he said.


 In this aerial image vehicles are seen along the Uriah Butler Highway which is currently closed to traffic on the southbound lane and open only to SUV’s and trucks on the northbound. -Photo: TEVIN NEWTON 

Another business owner who wished not to be named said supporting each other in these difficult times is what is needed.

He said despite the Government’s offer of $25 million for flood victims, immediate necessitates are needed for relief.

He said there has been an overwhelming support for flood victims and people have really come out in aid of helping through donating items, organising meals, using their personal vehicles for rescuing others.


A ST MARGARET’S man was shot and killed while plying his car for hire in Pointe-a-Pierre yesterday morning.

Rishi Etwaroo, 45, of Teak Avenue, was driving his Nissan Fielder wagon when he was shot dead in his car by a man pretending to be a passenger.

A woman passenger in the rear seat of the Etwaroo’s vehicle was shot in her right palm and upper arm.

WHILE the Miami court’s US$100 million (TT$700 million) civil forfeiture judgment was, in fact, a significant victory for Trinidad and Tobago, the question now is: how exactly would the State be recovering the funds?

This is what is being asked by senior counsel Martin Daly, as he commented on the judgment delivered on Wednesday evening in the Piarco corruption case.

Lead investigator Justice Stanley John has submitted to Attorney General Reginald Armour the interim report on the investigation into matters relative to the State’s failure to file a defence in the malicious prosecution lawsuit filed by the nine men who were acquitted of the murder of businesswoman Vindra Naipaul-Coolman.

A release from the Office of the Attorney General yesterday confirmed that John, accompanied by ACP Pamela Schuller-Hinds (retired), delivered the interim report to the AG.

Court transcripts show that Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Reemberto Diaz shot down an attempt by lawyers representing Trinidad and Tobago in the Piarco airport civil proceedings to provide lunch for the six-member jury for a month, at ­taxpayers’ expense.

AFTER twice being denied bail by a magistrate, the woman charged with poisoning a 13-year-old boy yesterday applied to the High Court.

Hema Manbodhsingh was granted $250,000 bail.

One of the conditions of the bail is that she is to have no contact with the child.

The Form One pupil, who has since been discharged from hospital, is living with a relative.

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