I was born on the island of Trinidad and Tobago, it’s the southernmost island country in the Caribbean. Many Caribbean nations rely heavily on tourism, whereas the Trinidad economy is primarily industrial with an emphasis on petroleum and petrochemicals. Most of the nation’s wealth is derived from its large reserves of oil and natural gas, making it one of the wealthiest countries in the Caribbean. As Trinidadians we enjoy two seasons, the sunny season and the rainy season. The sunny season lasts from January to May and the rainy season lasts from June to December.
Both seasons are necessary because it helps agriculture thrive but, recently Trinidad and Tobago is being affected more often by two threats. Heat waves in the sunny season and tropical storms in the rainy season. I believe this is due to climate change, which causes flooding, wild fires, destruction of property and loss of lives. Trinidad is located on the southern side of the North Atlantic basin, so it escapes the horrors of hurricanes that occur during the rainy season. Even though it is located in a safe zone not directly affected by storms, today it is very prone to the consequences of climate change.
In the past five years during the rainy season, my country of Trinidad and Tobago has been plagued with tropical storms which resulted in many areas being flooded. As years go by I have noticed an increase in property damage, death of life stock, displacement of families and people in need of assistance. As a Trinidadian I feel obligated to my homeland, so every so often I would look at the news to understand what’s happening on the island. Since living in New York I have been fortunate to have never experienced flooding. Still, it’s a painful experience to see the people on the island where I grew up suffer through these disasters. The past nor current government have no solutions for the issue. What is offered is assistance after the damage is done, and the removal of the water via a pump that carries the water out of the city it’s resting in. Clean up crews are also organized to power wash the area removing the mud on the roads, also to assist removing the debris from the area.
I believe it is time for the Trinidad government to start planning in advance for possible disasters. The method of waiting for a disaster to happen then paying for the damages is a lot more costly. There are a few solutions to flooding first introducing a flooding warning system, so residents can be aware of the coming disaster. Second homes and businesses should be modified to help it withstand floods. Lastly funds should be put in place to defend areas from flooding. I believe by implementing these solutions and more, can really bring a change to the flooding disaster in Trinidad and Tobago.