Minister of Social Development and Family Services, Donna Cox visited residents of Ragoonanan Road West in Chase Village, following the destruction caused by a mini tornado in the area last Wednesday.
Minister Cox was accompanied by Deputy Permanent Secretary, Vijay Gangapersad, as well as, the Directors of the Ministry’s National Social Development Programme and National Family Services Division, as she toured the homes of all those who were affected; empathizing with the families and offering support towards their recovery.
Speaking with members of the media, Minister Cox highlighted that it was important for the Ministry’s Executive and staff to take a first look at the disaster, so that appropriate technical and fiscal support could be redirected to the community.
She confirmed however, that site visits are a mandatory part of grant eligibility. Noting that the day was also committed to the annual global observance of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Minister Cox sought also, to emphasise on the importance of a multi-faceted approach to relief and sustainability for all affected persons.
Minister Cox also highlighted the involvement of staff from the Ministry’s National Family Services Division, who engaged relatives of the Crowe family, inclusive of several children and young adults, for preliminary discussions about the psycho-social aspects of recovery.
As she toured the affected homes, Minister Cox explained that through the National Social Development Programme, affected families could receive up to $20,000 TTD to assist in the purchase of building materials for roofing and minor structural repairs, electrical works and sanitary plumbing.
She further stated that they could also be eligible for the Ministry’s household assistance grant, which was specifically designed to help victims of man-made or natural disasters replace items such as stoves, refrigerators and furniture.