Where is Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan? At a time when the country needs him most - with numerous roads across Trinidad affected by flooding, landslides and other infrastructural issues, effectively rendering some of them impassable - the Minister is nowhere to be seen this week.
Flooding, of course, is not a new phenomenon here.
However, the past two months have brought some of the worst flooding this country has seen since 2018. Not to mention the current concern that these dangerous and unhealthy waters are not receding quickly in some areas.
As just an example, El Socorro South in San Juan was inundated for almost a week.
Similarly, water at Abattoir Road, a major thoroughfare into Port-of-Spain, has barely budged after recent continuous heavy downpours.
To make matters worse, the Manzanilla/Mayaro Main Road, affectionately known as "the coconuts’," is now closed once again in a repeat of the devastation of 2014.
Hundreds of residents there stand to be affected in the coming days, as the Public Transport Service Corporation has already suspended all services out of Sangre Grande en route to Guayaguayare.
Yet, there is nothing but radio silence from Mr Sinanan on these developments.
We would have thought by now that we would, at the very least, have seen images of him on the ground assessing the latest situation, as a precursor to reporting to the nation on a short, medium and long-term action plan.
In a bygone era, the Minister of Works was one of the nation’s most visible cabinet members. In fact, many of them were household names, among them Carlos John, John Humphrey, Colm Imbert and who could forget Jack Warner. In the early days of the former People’s Partnership government, Mr Warner commandeered the media for months, conducting site visits to every pothole, box drain and landslide he could find.
Admittedly, money was flowing a lot more freely back then and, in Mr Sinanan’s defence, he is now being asked to do more with less.
But that’s no excuse for him to essentially be a ‘works’ from home minister, especially when flood-prone communities are on the brink of disasters.
With each passing day, the situation as it relates to flooding is becoming more dire as adverse weather and riverine alerts are extended and the impact of climate change hits home in a very real way.
Earlier this month, we would have heard Mr Sinanan blaming prolonged rainfall for the slow pace of work. He had also said the Ministry of Works and Transport has 60 ongoing road paving projects, which they can only do under suitable weather.
But what is Mr Sinanan and his ministry doing to ensure this country’s infrastructure can weather the storm?
Given the current level of displacement, we are eager to hear from him now and to see real action on the continuing infrastructural woes citizens are facing almost daily now.