In the 2018 Midyear Budget Review, the Finance Minister paraphrased Jimmy Cliff’s hit song “I can see clearly now” to say that the economy had been stabilised and that brighter days were ahead.
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It was hard to tell the roads from the rivers and drains yesterday. But the frustration and despair etched on residents’ faces told a story of the hardship to come.
As deafening rainfall continued deep into yesterday, scores of families in South and Central Trinidad were praying for relief from the mud-coloured water that gushed into their homes.
Others, like Suresh Rattiram, his wife Vindra Mangroo and their seven children, ages two to 14, were praying the rage of the swollen Oropouche River would not topple their plywood home during the night.
With the children trapped in their Suchit Trace, Penal home, Rattiram agonised over the lost materials that were donated to upgrade the structure that rests precariously on shaved logs. The new zinc sheets, pieces of plywood and the washing machine were under water. The children’s school uniforms, which were hung under the house, were long gone with the river.
“Last night all the water came up and ply, galvanise and other things were gone. After storm Bret some people had helped us out with some materials. I don’t get regular work so it is hard,” Rattiram said.
Mangroo makes $200 a week selling doubles on Thursdays. For Rattiram and the children, it’s the only home they have ever known.
Mangroo said after going to the Oropouche East Constituency Office to get help for State housing, she was denied access to see MP Dr Roodal Moonilal. On another occasion, she was told they would not be able to afford State housing.
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