by Claudette Joseph
Yesterday I visited the residents of River Road just to talk with them and to see how they are coping with the effects of the severe flooding of the area the day before. Most people were in good spirits and had mostly cleaned up and are trying to return to their daily routines.
We are a positive, resilient people and will always bounce back. However, as I interacted with them, I realised that beneath all the resilience and positivity is a whole lot of frustration. The people of River Road are frustrated because the flooding of the area is something they have had to cope with for many, many decades. Governments come and go, and during election campaigns, promises are made to give priority to solving the problem. Close to elections, as happened earlier this year, governments even sent surveyors and engineers to do “preliminary works”, giving the impression that work would start, but nothing happens.
In 2012, the NDC Government secured $49 million to once and for all fix the flooding problem in River Road. NDC lost the 2013 Elections before work could be started. The question is, 6 years later, what has become of that $49 million? There has been absolutely no accounting for that money.
If the flood mitigation were undertaken between 2013-2018, Wednesday would not have happened. The people are trying their best to be positive, but their deep sadness at all their loss and discomfort was very evident. Some small business owners had their goods and appliances destroyed. These ordinary, hardworking people cannot afford insurance. So, the economic setback for them is severe.
Now, the Children’s Carnival Frolic scheduled for tomorrow at the stadium is postponed. So once again, the small vendors from the area are out of a dollar.
Aren’t the people of River Road tax-paying, law-abiding citizens as the citizens of any other part of Grenada? Why then are they so repeatedly neglected? I’m calling on the MP and his government to stop the old talk, and the tomfoolery. Treat the people of River Road like the first-class citizens that they are. Account for the $49 million the NDC left there to fix the flooding problem in River Road and whatever you do, fix the problem now!