The trinidad Guardian / The current disastrous floods in several parts of the country has brought to the fore quite clearly the need for decentralising rescue and preventative activities. Thus while there would always be a need for such bodies as the OPDM, as a co-ordinating agency, and the Ministry of Works and Transport, one cannot doubt the fact that properly functioning local government bodies, fitted with the necessary wherewithal, would be able to respond more quickly and responsibly than bodies further away from the scenes of impending or possible disasters.

In the case of preventative actions in respect of floods, who can be better aware of such issues as clogged drains and the like than local government councillors?

Perhaps the government, (and indeed the Parliament at this budget time), will be now convinced of the need for local government reform even in this relatively small area.

Changing of personnel at the OPDM is but a panacea. Fundamental root- and-branch establishment of a properly operational disaster management function is required. Indeed, even the notion that “God is a Trini” must be dispensed with.



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