Works and Infrastructure Minister Jack Warner says "a tragedy of immense proportion" could happen if the Town and Planning Division does not become actively involved in the construction of people's houses. He said part of the flooding problem was that people chose to live on hills which resulted in deforestation. Warner was speaking to the media at Waterhole, Cocorite, around 4 pm yesterday. Several residents of the area were affected by Saturday's heavy downpour. The torrential rainfall also ravaged several homes and communities in northwest Trinidad. Warner said: "I have seen some places today and some houses being built on some areas...Town and Country Planning, if nothing else, has to come on board and actively look at the places where people build homes and make sure that that doesn't happen, otherwise we shall have a tragedy of immense proportion."
Warner, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, several members of her Cabinet, officers from the T&T Defence Force and the Office of Disaster of Preparedness and Management toured areas such as La Seiva and Gittens Road in Maraval, Dibe Road and Cocorite. Clean-up crews were busy washing away sludge and slush from the roadway in Maraval close to the Country Club where parts of the wall opposite the Clico office failed to stand the test of the harsh rainfall. Warner said after viewing the areas, he realised government's emergency fund for disasters such as flooding "cannot do it." He said: "The funds we have cannot do it.
"While I was coming here today, I was thinking even if we have twice the amount, we can't do it, he added. "Therefore we have to have some kind of strategic plan that will do the critical works first and then you always prioritise. "That is what we have to sit and do because all where we you go everything is a priority but we just simply can't do everything at the same time."