The Tobago House of Assembly’s Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment (DIQE) is now taking a compressive approach to drainage on the island in the flooding issues faced by residents last weekend.
Areas affected during bouts of torrential rains caused by an ITCZ were Black Rock, Hope, Mason Hall, Glamorgan and Delaford.
Speaking at the People National Movement’s Tobago Council media briefing on Wednesday DIQE’s Secretary Kwesi Des Vignes said the THA is seeking to put a “unique building and development plan in place for Tobago.”
He said in the short and medium terms, the division’s drainage task force will clear clogged drains and reconstruct waterways that were damaged or too small to carry the volume of water required.
“In the long term, we are looking to have the road network and the drainage network completely mapped out so we understand where the drains are,” Des Vignes said.
At Hope Village, where the Hope and Mesopotamia rivers meet on the Windward Main Road there was massive flooding.
Des Vignes said the assembly will dredge the Hope River but has to do more to bring relief to the flooding woes. “Those berms ... are a challenge. It’s a legacy challenge and we are engaging the Land Management (Department) at present to look into the matter to see what are the challenges as there are some claims of ownership.”
He said the THA will take no action until the matter is investigated so that their action could be considered “fair and lawful action.”
The man-made berms were erected at the seaside by private developers some years ago and this may have contributed to the flooding in the area.
Addressing another factor that contributed to the flooding, Des Vignes said islanders are “architects of their own demise” as they continue to litter.
“Littering is a serious issue ...I looked on the Hope beach on the seaside ...there were a number of plastic bottles. Persons are still throwing out their old stoves and fridges on roadsides completely indiscriminately.”
This must stop, he said, if the problem of flooding is to be properly addressed.