Flood interventions to show results over coming days in Region Six
Residents along the Corentyne Coast can expect floodwaters waters to recede from their homes and farmlands over the coming days, provided there is favourable weather.
Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha shared this view, during an outreach to the Region Six communities on Saturday.
The Minister led a multi-agency assessment of flooding in the Region. These agencies included the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA), National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute, National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) and the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB).
Speaking with media representatives, Minister Mustapha said several interventions were made today and “hopefully, within the next 24 hours, those interventions can happen and we can have the water drained.”
He said the agencies within the remit of the Ministry of Agriculture will continue assessments in the communities. With regard to livestock, the Minister said he engaged the GLDA to support farmers.
“I have instructed the GLDA today to look at those farmers that need help in terms of feed for their animals and also to relocate animals to higher ground. We are working with farmers to get those matters resolved.”
Minister Mustapha disclosed that Babu John, Port Mourant has experienced the worst of the floods in Region Six.
“They are severely affected. We had a pump placed yesterday near to the cemetery to drain water there and we will be putting an additional two pumps this afternoon. Hopefully, we can work through the evening to drain excessive water there.”
The group noted that the drains clogged with refuse also contributed to the flooding, following several days of torrential rains. The Minister chided the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) for failing to properly dispose of the garbage, but he also called on residents to desist from littering.
Additionally, he added that where NDCs have fallen short in cleaning the drains, the NDIA will step up.
Over at Whim, an additional pump was installed. The Agriculture Minister said more works would be conducted on the internal drains in the community to ensure water run-off.
Concerning the overtopping of the Canje Creek, Minister Mustapha stated, “I think we can resolve that situation because the water has started to recede and I am hoping in another few days, with the work we are doing in New Forest and Canje, we can get the water there to recede tremendously.”
These interventions include impoldering and repairs to sluice doors.
At Albion, an excavator is currently in place to raise the embankment to prevent the flooding of the housing area.
To complement these works, the Minister said, “we are closing off all those intakes from the tubes that lead to the housing scheme and then we will drain the water. We will install a new pump this afternoon to drain the water there.”
Minister Mustapha acknowledged that the nation’s drainage system is not able to drain the significant volumes of water that has accumulated in recent days as a result of unusually high rainfall, compounded by high tides.
As a result, he has tasked the NDIA to establish a long-term work programme for vulnerable areas that are currently inundated. The outfalls at Number 19 village and Port Mourant are tipped to be reactivated through the plan.
“I will ensure that we get budgetary allocations so that we can implement these new projects so that in the long term, we will not have this issue once again,” the Minister said.
Outside of the interventions being rolled out, Minister Mustapha indicated he will engage Prime Minister, Hon. Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips and the Director General of the Civil Defence Commission, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig to facilitate hamper distributions to households affected by the floods.