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US$120m IDB loan to stop city floods
Flooding is the most immediate problems to be tackled during the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) four programme loan with the T&T Government, Michelle Cross-Fenty, IDB country representative, said yesterday. “During my time here in T&T, I have witnessed first hand how flooding continues to impact the lives of the population, not to mention how time and time again it cripples mobility in downtown Port-of-Spain,’ said Cross-Fenty, who said the plan is to reduce the risk of flooding and upgrade existing drain channels. The signing of the loan agreements took place at the Ministry of Planning, Eric Williams Financial Complex, Port-of-Spain. The loans, approved late last year by the IDB, include US$120 million for flood alleviation in Port-of-Spain: US$120 million; US$20 million for Finance Strengthened Information Management at the Registrar General’s Department; a USS18 million Global Services Promotion Programme; and the Project Preparation and Execution Facility (PROPEF) for a proposed Health Services Support Programme (HSSP) for US$1.5 million.
Ganga Singh, Minister of the Environment and Water Resources, who attended the signing ceremony, said one of the causes of flooding in Port-of-Spain is that employees of the City Corporation push garbage into drains which clogs them. He added that under the terms of the loan agreement, the drainage will be completed in five years. Singh added that the drains in the city have been that way since T&T's colonial days and not much has been done since then to solve the flooding problem. “In 2014, we are engaging in that exercise. It is a willare to fund T&T's development and help stem societal problems. “We must get the drugs and the crime under control because we want peace, prosperity, harmony and sustainable progress. We are on the right track and once we deal with these scourges, we will eventually get to our paradise at a faster rate,” he said.