News day / When the current administration. assumed office it found that,. in large part, the IDB loan had not. been used despite this country paying. a Project Execution Unit and. spending US $700,000 in commitment. fees to the lender.
Whats more alarming to engineers. attached to the Drainage Division. of the Ministry of Works and. Transport is that the previous plan. for flooding in Port-of-Spain had. several fundamental flaws. Joel. Taylor, Manager of the Drainage. Divisions Project Execution Unit. says We reviewed the proposal. which was done by the previous. administration and right now we. are currently taking the necessary. steps to alleviate flooding in the. short, medium and long term. The. long term is a new design development. for the entire Port-of-Spain. catchment.. According to Taylor, the previous. design was not holistic it was. broken up into eight individual. sections, it wasnt seen as one continuous. flow of water. So now were. looking at it as a whole so in critical. areas well know how to transition. that water into a next catchment.
Taylor says the plans deficiencies. did not stop there. They didnt. have the underground utilities,. they didnt consider the effects of. the Maraval and St Anns rivers and. how they affect the catchment.. The plan was so ill-conceived, he. says, after futile attempts to retrofit. the previous work done they had to. scrap the plan altogether.
The proposal we submitted will. cater for underground utility, topographical,. drain CCTV and river. surveys, Taylor explained, this. new plan is currently before. Its Director, Paula Webber says. after the Drainage Division was. moved back under the Works Ministry. from the now defunct Ministry. of the Environment and Water. Resources they have been able to. better coordinate the effort.
The drainage division has a. team which uses a rover and they. go and map and gather data for the. underground drainage network. in downtown Port-of-Spain via a. CCTV video outline of the whole. system.. Webber says her division proposes. re-scoping the loan but remained. coy on just how much. money remained from the initial. sum procured from the IDB.
In the short-term the Ministry. has begun cleaning outfalls in the. capital but Webber urges patience.
Most of downtown Port-of-Spain. is reclaimed land at sea level, which. provides a unique challenge especially. when bad weather and hightide. converge on the city.
We want to do something sustainable,. I know people are crying. out and we feel for them we. feel their pain, but you might dig. up Port-of-Spain and cause more. damage. Which is why I think this. project is really an important one,. to do a holistic design to alleviate. the problems being experienced.. Drainage Engineer, Kerry Sheppard. points out that its not only. Port-of-Spain thats in focus, there. are 120 projects on the schedule,. one collaborative project The. sluice and floodgates are very important,. he assures We have vandalism. and people taking the steel. for scrap so were working on a. project to repair and increase embankments. to fix the problem of. flooding throughout the country.. There are 11 pump sites from. Sea Lots to Felicity to Moruga and. Drainage has begun a collaboration. with the Mechanical Service and. Maintenance Divisions to carry. out a conditional assessment and. repair of these pumps and sluice. gates which work in tandem to. keep water courses clear.
For the first time, Webber says. we are partnering with mechanical. and maintenance to ensure that. all our pump sites are functional,. some of those pumps are over 40. -50 years old.. But Webber says the public must. pitch in. The main challenges. are people dumping their refuse. especially fridges, stoves, that has. been our experience, car chassis,. you name it. The things you see in. underground drains, plastics, styrofoam. and concrete washed down. from construction sites.. To this end the Drainage Division. is involved in another major. collaboration with NALIS, it is. one that seeks to educate the next. generation on the importance of. proper waste disposal as a means. of preventing flooding in their own. areas.
TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO: Drainage overhaul for Port-of-Spain
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