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Debe residents clean up after flood

Published: 
Thursday, August 16, 2018
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A worker from the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation carries out clean-up efforts at the Debe Hindu School following Tuesday’s floods. Photo by:Rishi Ragoonath

Some 20 families in Debe, South Trinidad spent their day yesterday cleaning slush from their homes and airing out their furniture following heavy rains which caused widespread flooding across the country on Tuesday.

Although flooding is a perennial problem in their community, residents said the authorities can help to minimise the problem by cleaning the drains and cracking down on indiscriminate blockage of the watercourses.

Workers from the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation’s health division were called in to help clean and sanitise the Debe Hindu School which was also flooded out.

Worker Ayoub Mohammed said, “Yesterday, the flood came into the school about three feet high and this morning we came and sanitise it.”

He said about five fans were damaged, but there was no major damage to the school.

Mohammed said clogged drains may have contributed to Tuesday’s flooding.

Kenneth Gokool, of Debe Main Road, said he is usually affected by flooding, but Tuesday’s flooding was a surprising one.

“It came up first, we clean it out, and then it swung back again and that was it, about two feet high,” said Gokool.

Gokool, who lives downstairs the family house, was forced to stay upstairs while his partly blind mother had to spend the night with his sister.

He said they lost a lot of stuff, including appliances and foodstuff.

However, he said he got assistance from Oropouche East MP Roodal Moonilal and other people. Gokool said poor drainage at the back of his house is contributing to the problem.

Another resident, Kim Ramnarine, a market vendor, said they had to move their goods to higher ground. She was not sure whether their refrigerator and washing machine were still working because they were submerged in the floodwater.

Ramnarine complained that a contractor diverted and narrowed the river.

“It really stressful. This is the second time we get it so bad,” she said.

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