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Flooding woes: Rousillac residents beg for help

Published: 
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Sumintra Choonoo moves her belongings to dry ground after her Boodoosingh Extension Road, Rousillac, home was flooded following heavy showers on Thursday. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH

Rousillac residents were forced to remain in their homes after parts of the road in their community were submerged in flood water on Thursday. Residents blamed the flood on insufficient and poor drainage and the blockage of a main water course by a land developer. The overnight showers caused the drains and river to overflow, and the water flooded the road and people’s properties. Speaking to the T&T Guardian, Siew Jaikaran said Boodoosingh Extension Road had been neglected for the past 47 years.

“No road repairs, no cutting of grass, no drainage, taxis not even working in here because the roads so bad,” Jaikaran said. He said he had made numerous complaints to the Siparia Regional Corporation, but had received no response. Jaikaran said he wrote to the corporation’s CEO in 2008 asking that the road be paved, the drain cleaned and grass cut, but he got a response only six years later. “Up to now nothing has been done. We cannot tolerate this anymore.”

Another resident, Sumintra Choonoo, who lives at Neranthar Trace, looked on helplessly as the floods streamed into her backyard, transforming it into a pond. She was worried that the flood would reach her washing machines, which were on elevated ground. However, Choonoo, who grows crops which she sells in the neighbourhood, said her produce was destroyed. “The water is about knee high. We found scorpion, centipede and a snake in the house.”

Choonoo, who lives with her husband Deopersad and three children, said recently a box drain was constructed alongside her fence. “It stopped short. So where they want the water to go?” Her husband said a few years ago a land developer blocked the river. The corporation removed the blockage but it was blocked again, he said. “There was some controversy with the land,” he added.

When contacted on the matter, La Brea councillor Gerald Debesette said the area was represented by himself and Otaheite/Rousillac councillor Chanardaye Ramadharsingh. But Debesette disagreed with the claim that the area had been neglected. “I would not say that. If you really check the area you will see box drains on both sides of the road. What happen is that it is low-lying area, it was rice land. There is swamp on the four corners of the road.” 

No matter how often the water courses were dredged, he said, they would continue to flood. He added, “We started drainage from the other side, Sobo. We almost reach three quarter coming down to that (Boodoosingh Extension Road) area.” Told about the complaint that the river was blocked by a land developer, Debesette said he would look into it.