Almost 500 cheques for flood victims ready—Minister

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 ear­li­er, Crichlow-Cock­burn said her min­istry was ex­pect­ed to have cheques pre­pared for 253 ad­di­tion­al fam­i­lies by the end of to­day.

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.

One hun­dred and ten were done in Ch­agua­nas, 137 in Rio Claro, 190 in San­gre Grande and 1,065 in the Tu­na­puna/Pi­ar­co re­gion. In Cou­va/Tabaquite, 99 percent 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.

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