crop losses

crop losses: A sweet pepper field under water at Jerningham Junction, Cunupia, following severe flooding recently.

—Photo: Jerningham Junction

Farmers Association

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.


Yesterday’s return of the sun after days of unrelenting rain brought little relief to thousands still marooned by floods and cut off by landslides and collapsed roads. Many who were lucky enough to venture out ended up in gridlocked traffic for hours due to flood water on highways and byways.

Up to last night areas such as Penal, Bamboo #2, Mafeking Village, Kelly Village and many others were still under water while commuters using critical transportation routes such as the Uriah Butler Highway and main roads in South and Central were reduced to crawling for hours through flood water.

While the Government of Trinidad and Tobago has engaged in ­humanitarian measures to support asylum seekers and refugees, they have been engaging in hostile rhetoric towards the asylum seekers and towards civil society and international organisations involved in the ­response. Civil society is also not allowed access to immigration detention and when persons are detained, they (civil society and international organisations) are not notified.

On Monday while out running errands, I experienced customer service at its worst and best. First my worst was at Flow, where the customer service manager refused to even listen to my problem and just billed without investigation.

Another worst was my attempt to make a report at the St James Police Station. My two-year-old was playing with the decorations on the Christmas tree. Five male officers came in at separate times, saw him and laughed, even spoke to him. Then there was a female officer who came and rudely informed me to control my toddler.

Floods and landslides—

How can it be prevented or remediated? Preserving vegetation, grasses and trees — Retaining water: reservoirs, dams, floodplains — Integrated river basin approach...

Just an excerpt above from Google. We are indeed experiencing terrible weather and this is happening every year now (not just a four-year pattern) and is predicted to get worse yearly.

The ongoing commission of enquiry (CoE) into the Paria diving tragedy in Trinidad and Tobago presents an opportunity for the families of the deceased workers to gain justice and closure about causes of the accident.

The entire population is also keen to probe possible negligence by State-owned Paria Trading Fuel Company and its subcontractor, LMCS. However, the CoE will prove to be an onerous burden on taxpayers. Moreover, the CoE does not replace the importance of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Police Service to render due diligence.

We must question the utility of this current CoE against the background of lofty societal expectations.