In Fifth Company Village, Moruga, residents are calling on authorities to invest in climate-resilient infrastructure given the integrity of roadways have been severely degraded due to increasing rainfall.
Speaking to Cari-Bois in a recent interview, Tasheen Ali, 58, recalls that thunderstorms were less frequent during the rainy season (June-December) while growing up in the village and it was often welcomed as it provided much needed relief from the warm temperatures during dry spells
But in the last ten years alone, Ali explained that severe thunderstorms are becoming more frequent which have led to an increase in landslips occurring in the village.
How climate change affects Trinidad and Tobago
In its first biennial report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of Planning and Development highlighted the current realities of climate change.
The report stated, “Trinidad and Tobago is already experiencing the advertised impacts of climate changes, such as the sea level rise, the increased ambient temperature and extreme weather systems.”
While the country’s climate has been historically variable, the report stated climate change has accelerated the rates of variations and increased the country’s average temperature almost doubling from 1946 – 2019.
Addressing landslips in Fifth Company Village
In his decades living in the village, Ali claims there has been little to no infrastructure upgrades in the company.
He thinks the current drains in the village are part of the problem as they are no longer able to manage the volume of water being received with increasing rainfall.
Like other residents, Ali is concerned.
He added, “You can’t stop the sun and rain. But we need them to better balance (how we respond to them).
“Heavy rain has been more frequent and when the rainy season comes, there is fierce rain damage to a lot of properties and the crops of farmers too.”
Like other residents, Ali wants to see authorities invest in proper drainage to avoid over-saturation of soils in the village, retention walls to prevent landslides along precipices and more dredging of water courses to avoid pooling/floods.
He said, “The Local Government system needs to take accountability on some of the problems created by climate change because there are unfinished drains and man-made walls.”
For the well-being of residents in the community, Ali is calling on those in local government, and central Government, to keep the promises they made to improve the village’s infrastructure.
But Ali also acknowledges that citizens and businesses will also have to get involved to reduce the effects of climate change.