City, coastal residents urged to prepare for May -June rains

GINA, GUYANA, Thursday, May 4, 2017

The May/ June rainy season has begun and the Ministries of Agriculture and Public Infrastructure continue to put in place flood prevention measures.

A number of canals, sluices and channel outlets have been cleared while some others are undergoing rehabilitative works to alleviate flooding.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon at today’s post-Cabinet media briefing said  Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder briefed Cabinet members on the initiative currently undertaken by his ministry before the start of the May /June rains.

Downtown Georgetown flooded after recent heavy rains

“Cabinet discussed a drainage and irrigation brief that was presented by the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and emphasised the need to be in a state of preparedness on the coastland, and in the capital city for the impending May/ June rainy season. The Honourable Minister of Public Infrastructure indicated that he and an inter-agency team would visit those areas that were prone to flooding in the rainy season, in the forthcoming week,” Minister Harmon outlined.

Earlier this week, Chief Meteorological Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Hydrometeorological Service, Dr. Garvin Cummings stated that the May- June rainy season has started, and will last until the end of July. The rainfall throughout this period is expected to be above normal.

Dr. Cummings explained, “We don’t have specific dates per say in terms of what days might have extreme rainfall that would require continuous monitoring which the National Weather Watch does. Based on this mandate however, what we are expecting for this rainfall season is above normal rainfall which means that the rainfall quantities that we are expecting are above the long term average or the 30 year average so we are expecting a wet season or more above average in terms of the amount of rainfall that we would have.”

In the case where there may be flooding, the drainage process will now be more efficiently able to allow possible flood waters to be drained from across the city in a timely manner, Minister Harmon had explained at an earlier media briefing.

The rehabilitation of a number of drainage and irrigation structures in and around Georgetown is the first of a series of actions taken by a recently established task force which will oversee the rehabilitation of drainage systems in the capital.

A sum of $150M was approved by Cabinet during the month of April for drainage and irrigation works to be completed in a number of areas in and around Georgetown. Rehabilitation of the South and North Ruimveldt drainage systems and the Railway Embankment Canal from Sheriff Street on the west to the pump station on the east are included.

 

By: Delicia Haynes

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