Plan for flood management approach on Trinidad

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The Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) has tasked Witteveen+Bos, together with local partners Trintoplan and Ecoengineering, with preparing the definitive design for measures against flooding on Trinidad.

The island of Trinidad experiences significant flooding during heavy rainfall. In October 2018, heavy rain caused serious flooding and related damage on Trinidad and Tobago, affecting around 80 per cent of the country (over 4,000 households). In 2019, Witteveen+Bos was involved in a quick scan for the rebuilding and improvement of Trinidad’s drainage system. In order to implement the suggested improvements, the Ministry of Works and Transport elected to develop a plan to improve the drainage system and prevent flooding.

The issue of flooding is not being approached as a purely technical challenge: the involvement of stakeholders and the integration of all affected sectors are important elements in our approach. In February 2021, we began work on the Trinidad drainage project. For our clients, we prepared a strategic drainage plan that presents the structural and non-structural measures needed to improve the drainage system and strengthen water management planning and coordination. The plan also includes an economic analysis to justify investment in the drainage system. A set of short- and long-term measures for each catchment area also forms part of the plan, which was completed in August 2021.

In 2022, we will be preparing detailed designs for immediate drainage measures. These include: improving embankments; upgrading drains and a pumping station; dredging; hydrologic monitoring; and preparing terms of reference for more detailed surveys and studies. Implementing these immediate measures is the first step towards improving the drainage system, but short- and medium-term measures are also needed to reduce the impact of flooding. For this project, we are collaborating with local partners Trintoplan and Ecoengineering, and various independent experts.

Update: March 17, 2022

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