Flood victims from Kelly Village, St Helena and Greenvale, La Horquetta received their relief cheques yesterday.
But while Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced at Thursday’s post-Cabinet press briefing that families without children would get $15,000 and families with children would receive $20,000, the cheques distributed yesterday were only for $10,000.
Minister of Social Development and Family Services Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn, who went to all three locations, explained that this was because the cheques were prepared after initial assessments.
“Prior to Cabinet’s approval, the ministry had already commenced the preparation of cheques for furniture and appliances relief and that was a maximum of $10,000,” she told the T&T Guardian.
As such, the flood victims were given letters informing them that they would be called again when cheques to cover the remainder of the promised assistance are prepared for distribution.
La Horquetta/Talparo MP Maxie Cuffie joined Crichlow-Cockburn at the Arima Velodrome, where residents of Greenvale and other areas in the vicinity received their cheques.
However, Cuffie said not everyone who showed up at the Velodrome received their cheques.
“There are some people who would not have received their cheques because they were not prepared yet. Those should be ready by Monday,” Cuffie said.
Cuffie was applauded upon his arrival at the Velodrome by his constituents, with many taking time after receiving their cheques to speak with him.
Arima Mayor Lisa Morris-Julian facilitated the cheque distribution at the venue, opening up the mayor’s box in the pavilion for people to interact with ministry officials.
La Horquetta resident Sandra St Clair was among those who received a cheque, but she told the T&T Guardian she was still awaiting clean-up assistance at her home. St Clair, who lives on the outskirts of both Greenvale and the original La Horquetta housing development, said she was only visited by social welfare officers yesterday.
Crichlow-Cockburn later left Cuffie to oversee the distribution to head to the TTPost compound in Piarco, where residents of St Helena received their cheques.