Minister of Social Development and Family Services Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn has already prepared relief grants for 194 households affected by last weekend’s devasting floods.
Speaking at a joint press conference at the Ministry of National Security in Port-of-Spain yesterday, Crichlow-Cockburn said her ministry was expected to have cheques prepared for 253 additional families by the end of yesterday.
Crichlow-Cockburn did not say whether the cheques had already been distributed to victims at the time of the press conference, but she explained that the first batch of cheques only covered the $10,000 grants being offered by the Government to help victims replace their damaged electrical appliances and furniture. She said the other grants to address damage to their homes will be processed at a later date.
Crichlow-Cockburn said between Monday morning and Tuesday afternoon her ministry’s staff were able to complete 1,502 damage assessments in the affected communities.
110 were done in Chaguanas, 137 in Rio Claro, 190 in Sangre Grande and 1,065 in the Tunapuna/Piarco region. In Couva/Tabaquite, 99 per cent of victims were assessed.
She claimed that the ministry is expected to complete the assessment process by the end of the week, once flood water had subsided in El Socorro, Bamboo Settlement and areas in Mayaro that were still under water.
In total, families affected by the flooding can claim a little over $70,000 in grants depending on the damage their homes sustained and the number of people living in the household.
In addition to the $10,000 grant for appliances and furniture, the Government is also offering between $15,000 and $20,000 for structural damage to homes, $25,000 for electrical re-wiring and $15,000 for plumbing repairs.
Each person affected is also entitled to claim a $1,000 clothing grant, while primary and secondary school students will receive $700 and $1,000 respectively if their school supplies were damaged.
Crichlow-Cockburn explained that families could make claims for all the grants, provided that they qualified.