A number of residents living in the Toledo District were forced to evacuate their homes after heavy rains flooded several low-lying communities. The incessant showers brought on by a tropical wave, currently passing over the country, made several roads impassable and threatened the lives of cattle in the district. Toledo West Area Representative and Minister of Rural Transformation, Oscar Requena spoke to Love News on the extent of the flooding.
Oscar Requena, Minister of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Local Government and Labour: “Over the last eighteen hours we have gotten significant rain in the Toledo district as is being experienced across the country. Of course this has resulted in several areas being flooded in the Toledo district. I’ve gotten reports of flooding in Jacinto, Mafredi, Blue Creek and I also understand that there may be some flooding in the Pueblo Viejo/Santa Elena area as well. I can say that I have seen images of of the flooding in Blue Creek and definitely it has gone very high. I have been informed that NEMO is on the ground along with the BDF and they have been evacuating persons from the low lying areas in Blue Creek and are being moved to higher ground. This is definitely of concern to me and in speaking to residents in the Blue Creek area I said to them that they must be very cautious. I’m happy to hear that NEMO and the BDF and other personnel are on the ground supporting them and at this point I definitely want to caution everybody in the low lying areas to please move to higher ground. It is very important. We cannot take any risks because definitely the water is rising with a lot more rain coming the water is going to rise and we need to ensure that safety at all times is priority.”
Our newsroom also spoke to Leslie Parham, a farmer of Mafredi (ma-fre-die) Village, who described the flooding as the worst he has seen in the past couple of years.
Leslie Parham, Farmer: “From last night we experienced rains. Coming into this morning at about six o’clock or so I saw the water really overflowing the banks. About an hour after at about seven it completely came over the farm which was about maybe twenty four inches of water above the banks of the river. I’ve experienced this weather maybe about thirty years ago but this is the first time I’ve seen it coming up this high. It also caused me to move my livestock, my cows, my horse, my sheep, my chickens to higher grounds. This morning it rose so fast that it caught me off guard. At this present time the rain held up a bit but it’s still bleak and it seems like it wants to rain again. The water has gone down a bit slight but I’m here still moving my animals to higher ground.”
Requena noted that his ministry remains in constant contact with local leaders in the community to ensure they stay abreast with issues that may be affecting them.///