Minister of Planning and Development, Camille Robinson-Regis, whose Ministry is responsible for the Town and Country Planning Division is in full agreement with the need to begin a “national conversation” with respect to the causes of perennial floods in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Minister also highlighted that effective planning control in flood-prone areas is under the remit of several agencies of the State.
The Town and Country Planning Division’s land use policy clearly defines and stipulates setback distances from rivers and watercourses making it illegal to build within those boundaries.
Enforcement of this policy then becomes the remit of many agencies such as the Municipal Corporations, the Ministry of Works and Transport, the Environment Management Authority (EMA), the Commissioner of State Lands, the Land Settlement Agency as well as the Town and Country Planning Division.
The Minister said her Minister will continue to work with the other state agencies in enforcing against unauthorized development.
The Minister also emphasized that flood risk management is a complex matter, as there are structural and non-structural options to be considered that must work in synergy, if the response is to be sustainable.