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Tewarie blames ‘years of bad practice’ for flooding
Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development Dr Bhoe Tewarie says the flooding which hit the north-western peninsula was exacerbated by “years of bad practice.” He made this comment in light of Saturday’s rains which resulted in collapsed bridges at La Horquette Valley Road.
Interviewed on Saturday, Tewarie said: “Many of the islands, fortunately, are spared the storms even during the most critical periods. But we cannot escape the rains that come with it. The situation was exacerbated by years of bad practice. Bad habits can help turn excessive rains into crisis.” He made reference to a concerted effort to stop the development of the hills and the denudation of forest cover. Tewarie added: “There is a build-up of river systems. Inadequate attention was paid. There must be holistic approach to drainage.”
Zeroing on short-term interventions, Tewarie said: “We need to address the human cost of what happened. The effects would be felt over the next few days. We need to manage it. We need to give relief and comfort to those who are terribly affected by the floods.”
Moving to long-term interventions, Tewarie said there was need for comprehensive programmes which link the management of flooding with irrigation for agriculture, clearing of drainage systems, rehabilitation of rivers, development of water retention and water capture capability. “We have taken precautions in the Northern Range. We have taken decisions to curb indiscriminate quarrying,” Tewarie added.
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