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Govt offers $5,000 grant to small businesses
The Government is offering a microenterprise grant of $5,000 to assist flood-hit businesses to restart, Local Government Minister Suruj Rambachan told Parliament yesterday. In a lengthy statement to Parliament, Rambachan recounted details of the Government’s work in handling the flood situation which occurred in Diego Martin, Petit Valley, parts of Maraval and La Horquette and other western areas after last weekend’s torrential rains.
He said the speedy response and the way people helped each other and went “the extra mile” was a story of productivity and high performance that gives lie to the proposition that T&T nationals are lazy or unproductive. He said living conditions were restored for more than 28,000 residents of the Diego Martin/Petit Valley areas affected by flooding. A total of 23 streets and main roads were cleaned along Diego Martin Main Road, Petit Valley and Maraval.
Rambachan said the Ministry of the People and Social Development was maintaining a unit in the Diego Martin areas until August 24 to assist people in handling losses. It has opened five assessment centres in the area between Diego Martin and Maraval.
Up to yesterday 379 people were assessed. The ministry will also assess applications from affected businesses for the $5,000 grant and other applications for schoolbooks and uniforms. Forty-two aplications for grants were to be distributed yesterday. The Housing Development Corporation (HDC) has provided temporary accommodation for 45 people so far, and 500 CEPEP workers in two shifts have been mobilised to assist, Rambachan said.
He said in the five days since last Saturday, eight contractors removed more than 500 truckloads of debris and garbage from the Diego Martin, Morne Coco and Maraval areas. There are about 800 to 1000 truck loads still to be removed. Also, 100 truckloads of material were removed from 11 landslides in Blanchisseuse and work should be completed in eight more days, he said.
He said when the roadway at Glencoe collapsed last Saturday morning, cutting off water supply, the area got back 80 per cent of supply by noon. TSTT also restored service to 10,000 customers by last Sunday after last Saturday’s storm damage to its western facilities. Rambachan congratulated all entities and ministries that assisted in the effort.
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