The Root Cause. River Basin Management & Flooding In Trinidad and Tobago.

The increasing incidence of flooding along the Manzanilla/Mayaro Road, and in the village of Mafeking along the Naparima/Mayaro road in recent times should be of concern to all, as in addition to the inconvenience it causes to residents who are directly impacted by flood waters, and those whose lives and livelihood depend on these roadways, it impacts national productivity among other negatives. The authorities namely The Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development continually advocate the root cause as improper disposal of garbage, and littering of our waterways. One does not have to be a hydrologist, or a scientist to conclude that Littering of Waterways or improper disposal of garbage IS NOT the cause of the increasing frequency of flooding that occur in these areas whenever there is two days of rainfall.

It may be an indisputable fact that improper disposal of garbage, and the littering of our waterways is the major cause of flash flooding in urban and built up areas, in addition to the lack of maintenance of constructed waterways in these built up areas that have been silted up reducing capacity, resulting in an overflow on to streets and into residential and commercial property.

Are our flood plains rapidly expanding as a direct result of unrestricted and illegal development in river basins, resulting in an unmanageable increase of runoff into rivers with rapidly decreasing capacity, resulting in increasing flooding whenever it rains?

Is it unreasonable to conclude that in addition to the most commonly highlighted issue of garbage and trash in our waterways, the bigger problem of the management of river basins is not being considered by those whose responsibility it is to address the root cause of the increasing incidence of flooding outside of urban and built up areas where flash flooding has always been problematic?

mafeking floodmanzanilla flood

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