Burying his face in a towel to hide his tears, Joseph Hosten had to be comforted by his wife Anganie at their Leemond Road, Sangre Grande home on Tuesday.
The Hostens were one of the hundreds of residents in the region affected by recent floods.
Leemond falls within the Manzanilla/Fishing Pond electoral district represented by councillor Kenwyn Phillip.
The couple lost everything including their happiness and peace of mind. They estimated their losses at $40,000.
As Anganie described how floodwaters poured into their one-bedroom home shortly after midnight last Thursday, Joseph, who has suffered multiple strokes and is confined to a wheelchair, burst into tears.
“It was a frightening experience for my husband…knowing that the water levels kept rising and he could not help himself and had to depend on me to get him to safer ground.”
Anganie, 47, said as she pushed the knee-high water out of their wooden structure, she heard her husband’s muffled cries behind her.
“I don’t ever want to go through that experience again.”
Anganie said after the water receded, she received no hamper or cleaning detergents from the SGRC to sanitise her home.
Selvon Ramcharan, a pensioner, has battled six floods at his Cunapo Southern Main Road home this year.
Ramcharan said last Thursday’s flooding was the worst he had seen in years and he was “fed up” with his constant losses and living on the edge.
“Every time rain fall it have you uneasy.”
In 2021, Ramcharan said, the community was flooded because of a development in the area.
“I living here for 42 years and it never had this type of flooding before. It’s beyond frustrating now. What am I supposed to do? How much you could take, man? This is overbearing now.”
As he poured his heart out, Ramcharan fought hard to contain his tears.
It took Ramcharan and his 56-year-old wife days to clean their home.
“I had to buy my own cleaning agents. It reached a stage you not getting help from the State when you get flooded out. No hamper. No mattress. Not even a hot meal. You had to fight up on your own after going through hell,” Ramcharan said.
In the Coalmine district, Mulchan Seebaran, 72, and his wife Edna, 68, sat on the verandah of their Veronica Boulevard home in a state of despair after losing approximately $60,000 in household items.
The area is represented by Sangre Grande West councillor Calvin Seecharan who confirmed that 17 homes in the district were severely affected.
A picture of worry was etched on the couple’s faces as they pondered their next move.
“It was devastating…really horrible. I kept asking God to give me the courage and strength to cope with what was before us. Yes, it pained me. Yes, I cried when my husband was not looking after seeing everything watersoaked,” Edna confessed.
Mulchan said he suffered in silence.
“My tears were not visible. But I cried within because it was a hard blow for us. I don’t know how long it will take before we recover from this,” Mulchan said.
The elderly couple said they cleaned their home with the help of relatives and received no assistance elsewhere.
Mulchan said he was still awaiting his $10,000 disaster relief grant from the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services following the 2018 nationwide flood.
“Around that time, they had the bobol with the grants so I don’t know if they stopped the payments. But we never get any money,” Mulchan said.
Councillors Phillip and Seecharan claimed that the $50,000 allocated to the SGRC by the Ministry of Finance each year to assist flood victims in the eight electoral districts was insufficient, and they urged the government to reconsider the figure.
“The Government keeps saying funding remains a challenge but this is one of the regions impacted the worst by floods. Every time rain falls places that never used to flood…flooding right now,” Phillip said.
They claimed dozens of burgesses who lost their homes in the 2018 flood were still waiting for their grants.