Living a life knowing rain is on the horizon, for many in Trinidad and Tobago, is one of torment, pain, discomfort and fear of total loss of possessions and livelihoods.
This is what thousands of citizens face every year; it is no longer about where you live, but no one can predict when the next disaster will strike on our twin island. Our land has become very flood-prone over the years. But there are things that can be done to decrease the excessive flooding, and those who are responsible are well aware of what can work short-term.
If the layman can see basic things that can help, why not the professionals? For example, properly cleaning drains and watercourses, the installation of properly working pumps, stopping the diversion of watercourses, and indiscreet construction along waterways are just a few examples.
I would like us to develop a viable plan to assist those who are devastated by floods yearly—a plan that can reach all. I am tired of hearing the comments of many, not just those whose homes have been flooded but people like our farmers, who complain yearly of the poor relief they receive when disaster strikes. One farmer commented to me that it is like speaking to the wind when it comes to receiving help.
Let’s face it, with what is happening globally and worldwide with food, it is clear to me that our farmers, those who are with us at present, must be kept going. We need them because the ability to produce as much of your food at home is a great asset to any country. To those who are in charge, more needs to be done to adequately support flood victims and our often-suffering farmers who also suffer great losses due to flooding.
Let me suggest the involvement of those megabusinesses and other organisations and companies that consistently declare millions in profits every year, even in an economy that is not doing so well. They can become even bigger donors and help relieve citizens and the agriculture industry, given the importance of home-grown food to all of us. It is a form of giving back to society by helping those in need.
If we truly mean “leave no one behind” and let’s do it together, there are times when the strong must help those who may be weak and against the wall. Total involvement is required, and those who have the means to help greatly because of where they stand must now show up.
Let us work together to save Trinidad and Tobago.