President Ali visits pump stations in the city, along Coast

His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali and a team from the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), late on Sunday evening visited several pump stations around Georgetown and on the East Coast Demerara.

The visits to these sluices/pump stations around Central Georgetown, Meadow Bank, River View, Lombard Street, Kitty, Liliendaal and the Hope Canal followed reports of negligence, which has contributed to citywide flooding.

President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali interacts with this pump attendant during his visit to several sluices in the city on Sunday night.

When the President arrived at one of the sluices in Central Georgetown, he observed that the pumps was not turned on to drain the water, when it should have been. In some cases, the sluice operators were not manning their work stations and some were asleep, although they were on duty.

When it comes to issues of natural disasters and national emergency it has nothing to do with politics, but everyone has to put their shoulders to the wheel and get this done. The situation is very, very difficult at the moment.

President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali inspects this sluice

We have our Guyanese brothers and sisters who are living there and are under tremendous stress at the moment. Not only are their homes flooded, but their livelihood is taken away; the crops are gone, livestock is affected. And what took place in the city is irresponsibility. But at the end of the day people suffer, and that is what worries me.”

The Head of State also visited the Hope Canal to ascertain whether this drainage system had been functioning efficiently. He recalled that this canal was constructed under a former People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Government following the devastating 2005 floods.

President Ali noted that the Hope Canal reduced the flooding in the Mahaica-Mahaicony area.

President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali inspects this sluice

“This facility has really helped us tremendously, and it is facilities like this, like the Hope Canal, that we may have to replicate in Berbice and other areas to drain directly from the backlands straight out to the ocean because it is only these facilities that can give you direct drainage.”

Meanwhile, NDIA Chairman, Mr. Lionel Wordsworth said that his agency’s main goal is to ensure that all drainage structures are fully functional.

“All the major conservancies, East Demerara conservancy, Boerasirie conservancy, and MMA conservancy remain manageable at this point in time.

So, the water levels have increased, but it has remained very manageable,” he said.

Both President Ali and Mr. Wordsworth gave their assurances that they will continue to work with the Regional Democratic Council, the Town Council and the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) to drain the flood water as soon as possible.