Gov’t to expend some $32B to address flooding in several regions

The government has embarked on a transformational plan to provide a long-term solution to flooding countrywide, which will see an expenditure of some $32 billion.

Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo made the disclosure at Dundee, Mahaicony, during a community meeting on Wednesday.

Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo during the meeting at Dundee, Mahaicony, Wednesday.

The Vice President is leading an outreach in the region. The discussion comes on the heels of a recent consultation held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, to discuss strategic flooding interventions in Regions Two, Three, Five and Six.

In this regard, Chairman of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), Lionel Wordsworth highlighted proposals intended to improve the drainage system to tackle flooding in Region Five.

He said when there is rainfall to the magnitude the country experienced mid-last year, the rivers are swollen and the water overflows the embankments, resulting in flooding.

Government, through the NDIA, proposes to rehabilitate the Mahaica creek embankment and upgrade existing channels to take water directly into the Atlantic Ocean. Also, with the creation of new outlets, improved pump and drainage capacity, the decades-old situation could be resolved.

“We propose a new outlet to be added at Dantzig, this would entail cutting across the road, upgrading channels, constructing a [pump] station, new sluice and pump, like what we are currently doing at Cottage,” Wordsworth said.

Dr. Jagdeo said apart from the proposed works, government will dredge the mouths of the Mahaica, Mahaicony and Abary rivers.

Government is also examining several proposals made by residents to address flooding, the VP told the gathering.