The very best of the people of Trinidad had emerged this weekend, a heart-warming sight to say the least.
The flood that caused misery for thousands is being replaced by a flood of caring people all over the country who are rallying to provide for those hit hardest.
Citizens are opening their doors to the homeless, providing hot meals, donating food, beds, clothes, and coming into the flood-stricken areas in east, north and central Trinidad in trucks and boats to rescue trapped people and to help clean homes, power wash yards and provide hands-on help.
Navin Kalpoo of Kalpoo Tours used his powered-engine boat to get to stranded families yesterday.
Kalpoo said: “I was brought up in a culture and atmosphere to help others when they are in need. Seeing the devastation this flood caused and how many people affected, we could not simply sit back and look on, we had to act.
He said that they used boats on Saturday and yesterday they delivered donated items, specifically to those people in rural communities who could not access assistance before due to the high flood waters.
I think what other people are doing now and that seeing how many are offering to help, it’s like a ripple effect to kindness. No one asked for this disaster but it happened and we have to help and this is what is means to share that Trini spirit,” said Kalpoo.
Members of the Defence Force who embarked on rescue missions Friday night into Saturday were also seen giving aid as they assisted in the clean-up process at Greenvale La Horquetta on Sunday.
He said people willing to help should not wait for an invitation to do so, nor should they wait to act after observing what the Government is doing.
In some parts of central and south Trinidad, which was spared the worst of the bad weather and floods, there are organisations and groups gathering items for donation.
Presentation College in San Fernando is just one of those groups urging the public to donate items at the school.
According to teacher Andrew Benjamin, since Tropical Storm Bret, a Flood Relief Drive was established by pupils, staff and former pupils to provide items to those flood stricken victims.
Donations such as canned foods, beverages, mattresses, pillows, clothing, tarpaulins, first aid supplies and cleaning supplies can be donated.
The San Fernando JAMA Masjid is also welcoming citizens to drop off any relief items at its mosque located at #68 Mucurapo Street, San Fernando. The items will be sorted and delivered to the relevant relief agencies to assist flood victims.
An employee at Roopnarine Hardware Limited, Gopal Maharaj said one of the ways in which the company is helping people is through using two of its trucks to aid people trapped by floods.
Yesterday, Maharaj said more trucks are expected to be used as there are many people who are still trapped in their homes and are in need of being helped.
If your vehicle was damaged by the recent floods, Ace Automotive is offering to do the repairs free.
As a means of giving back to those affected by the floods, Anil Hosein, owner of Ace Automotive in Chaguanas said that given this was a national disaster, many people would have already incurred high cost of living and he wanted to help ease the burdens of those struggling by offering free mechanical and electrical works for vehicles, as this was his way of helping.
He said he may not have the financial capacity to help but through utilizing his trade as a mechanic and electrician he can help those in need.
“We can’t just look at what the politicians are doing and do nothing ourselves. We have to help. Today it is them but tomorrow it could be us. We cannot be a bunch of selfish people and I think the business people need to come out and show greater support.
I am offering my services and this is the first time I am doing it. Since Saturday I have received over 200 phone calls asking for my services. Now understand this, some of those calling have two and three vehicles and they can afford to pay to have this done, and those who I wish to help is someone who really struggling and only have one vehicle and have to use that one vehicle for everything. Someone like that is in need of assistance,” he said.
Another business owner who wished not to be named said supporting each other in these difficult times is what is needed.
He said despite the Government’s offer of $25 million for flood victims, immediate necessitates are needed for relief.
He said there has been an overwhelming support for flood victims and people have really come out in aid of helping through donating items, organizing meals and using their personal vehicles for rescuing others.
Corporate T&T have also been making generous donations to Flood Relief efforts.
Chairman of the ANSA McAL Group of Companies, Norman Sabga, announced a one million dollar initial donation in goods to the areas affected and more support has also come through:
The Agostini Group of Companies
The Prestige Group of Companies
Colin Sabga (Iceland)
FireOne Fireworks and Fineline Distributors.
Global Brands (Pizza Boys)
RBC donating $300,000