$8M intervention to combat flooding in Speightland, Region 10

Residents of Speightland, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) are set to benefit from $8 million in emergency infrastructural works by the Ministry of Public Works. The announcement was made during an outreach to the region on Thursday, as part of government’s intervention to provide relief to citizens in flood affected areas.

Minister, Bishop Juan Edghill, M.P, explained that the procurement for emergency works identified will be advertised, and opened to bids on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill engaging residents of Speightland.

The ministry is limiting the bidding process to contractors of the region only. This is important to further boost economic development there. After the tendering process is completed, works will commence immediately, with a scheduled date of no later than July 2, 2022.

One of the key components of the emergency works is revetment works on the Kara Kara Creek shoulders using geo-textile materials, and boulders to align the shoulders of the creek with the road.  Geo- textile is a modern engineering method used to increase soil stability, provide erosion control or aid in drainage. This design is intended to reduce the impact of flooding, and preserve the roadway. Further, drains will be constructed to facilitate faster drainage of water from the roadway into the creek.

The minister noted that while government has made significant intervention on the coastland to mitigate the impact of flooding, in the hinterland regions, climate change is affecting those as well.

“The current impact of climate change is also impacting the hinterland, and riverain areas too… [what] we see happening now is that there is flooding in the highland and the hinterland regions especially with the rivers swelling to heights we did not see before,” Minister Edghill noted.

He also reiterated the government’s mandate to ensure all citizens have equal opportunities and resources.

“We have to look at bringing relief to people who live in these areas that are affected, and then at the same time we have to look at the engineering and other interventions that will eliminate or alleviate some of these circumstances so that people don’t have to continue to go through the suffering.”

As an immediate intervention, residents in flood affected areas such as Speightland, Rockstone, Kwakwani and Landersville will be provided with hampers supplied by the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), in collaboration with the regional disaster committee.

Residents of Speightland

Meanwhile, several residents shared their views on government’s support efforts.

Morris Reece said, “I feel great because I find that he is addressing all the situations that is needed and things have been addressed before, and things have been done. So, I think this is the continuation of the good progress that is happening in Speightland. We are very happy that Mr. Edghill and his team is here, and we are looking forward for all the promises to be fulfilled.”

Another resident, Cleveland Semple shared similar sentiments.

“Well, I feel he respond very good to we because he has given a lot of promise, and he say we should work together.”

The minister also announced that Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr. will be joining the flood assessment campaign in the community of Rockstone on July 2, 2022.

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