A lot of the flooding problem in downtown Port-of-Spain is being caused by construction activity including Government's campus sector and the Waterfront, says Works Minister Colm Imbert.
At the Government's weekly news conference yesterday, Imbert said consultants had been working on a long-term plan to alleviate the situation.
But, he added, that this would eventually entail demolition and relocation of some buildings in order to implement a new drainage system to replace the small system which was almost 60 years old. Imbert said construction activity on some buildings caused silt and debris to clog drains, furthering the problem.
As long as there was construction work in the area, Imbert said, the "drain capacity" problem would continue. Once drains were cleaned every six months, the problem remained in check, so far, he added. However, he said city drains had been cleaned in April for the Summit of the Americas and had now been found to be full again. Apart from it being a sea level issue, Imbert said the drainage system in the city was just too small to hold the amount of water that was now generated. Imbert said he had instructed the Drainage Division to look at the flood-prone areas in downtown Port-of-Spain, Richmond Street, Abattoir Road and other areas.