No more flooding from high tides
-PM assures Little Diamond residents
Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, today told flood-affected residents of Little Diamond, East Bank Demerara, that he has received all assurances from engineers of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), that the community will not be flooded again as a result of high tides.
This morning, over 100 households were affected after there was a breach of the river defence at approximately 3:00h. Water began to flood the community as a result of the high tide and reached in excess of two feet in some houses.
It was the second time in two days that the residents were affected by the intrusion of water from the Demerara River.
Prime Minister Phillips, this afternoon conducted a walk-through exercise to meet residents. He assured them that the Government has taken corrective action and that there will be no such reoccurrence.
He was accompanied by Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Honourable Deodat Indar.
“We have been given the assurance from the Chief Engineer of the NDIA, Fredrick Flatts, that the work that they are doing now will effectively seal the breach and this area will not suffer any flooding tonight or anytime in the near future”.
IMPACT ASSESSMENT TO BE CONDUCTED
The PM said too that an impact assessment will be conducted to ascertain the extent of the damages the residents suffered, after which the Government will determine its next move.
“I understand what the people have gone through; but also I am leaving here satisfied that the engineering work will result in the residents not suffering any more than they would have suffered already. We will have a team that will come in here and start the damage assessment and certainly the information gathered will help us to determine our next move”.
Director General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig, who accompanied the Prime Minister, said that since receiving reports of an initial flooding yesterday, the CDC has been conducting a continuous assessment of the situation and have distributed cleaning supplies and food hampers to affected residents.
“Yesterday we received the first call at approximately 6:30 am, there was some amount of flooding, but not as significant as today. Our team conducted an assessment and would have distributed cleaning supplies to the affected residents. This morning again, we received information of flooding, but this time at a higher level, we immediately deployed our assessment team, but simultaneously we distributed food supplies and also cleaning and sanitation supplies”.
Chairman of the Herstelling / Little Diamond Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) Punit Jaigopaul said that since the flooding, the community has received visits from Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Zulfikar Mustapha, Minister of Public Works, Honourable Juan Edghill, and Minister of Home Affairs, Honourable Robeson Benn. He said that he is pleased to see the Prime Minister also in the community and added that his NDC is working closely with the Central Government and the CDC.
“We welcome the Prime Minister and he has our support, he would have assured us that this will not happen again and I believe our residents are pleased with the situation”.
The Government through the NDIA is currently constructing a new sluice at Little Diamond. According to the CEO of NDIA, Mr Flatts, the project costs approximately $123M and is 97% completed.