The Chairman of the Private Sector Commission on Thursday said his organisation has further lost confidence in the government’s flood preparation and safeguard plans.
In a statement, PSC Chairman Ramesh Persaud, fired off at the government for not having systems in place that could have guarded against the widespread flooding that several parts of the city are experiencing. He said while the heavy rainfall would absorb some of the blame, the leaders of the nation may have once again been caught off guard.
“While the quantum of rainfall may have been unusual for the time period it fell and natural causes will obviously be blamed as in the past. The PSC is concerned that once again it seems that the leaders of the nation have been caught off guard. The alert mechanisms, forecasters and administrators both in central and local government have disappointed us in their proactivity and reaction to this development”, Persaud said.
He noted that the situation is unfolding “even after the millions being spent on the Doppler weather stations, hundreds of millions spent on drainage and irrigation annually, billions spent on the significantly delayed Hope Canal Project and the billion dollars currently being spent on the cleanup campaign.”
Persaud said “the PSC is of the view that the flooding is as a result of both a natural phenomenon and a governance problem. For the governance problem, a national inquiry must be done this time to ensure that the true causes for the various lapses in the systems can be identified so that our alert and reaction processes can be improved in the future.”
Several businesses along Regent and Robb Streets and the downtown shopping zone were forced to keep their doors closed on Thursday as a result of the severe flooding. Many businessmen are already counting millions of dollars in damages and losses.
The release further stated that the PSC is calling on the Government, both central and local to provide urgently, the necessary assistance to ensure:
- That the areas affected are drained as soon as is practical. (The Private Sector will explore opportunities to assist).
- Support provided to aid clean up and recovery of households affected.
- Adequate systems are put in place to facilitate advisories being sent out to the public with regard to the expectations of the next few days.
- Assessment of damages for possible financial assistance to aid recovery of those affected and uninsured must be considered.
- Medical advisories are sent out so that additional disasters are not ignited.
The Private Sector body also wants members of the public to allow the spirit of goodwill and friendship to prevail at this time so that communities can work together to overcome this problem.
Filed: 20th November, 2014