Squatting in Ruimveldt costing gov’t too much for alternative drainage
DPI/GINA, GUYANA, Friday, June 02, 2017
The Ruimveldt areas have always been susceptible to flooding during heavy or even the slightest rainfall. However, squatting in North Ruimveldt areas is costing the government large sums for alternative drainage works to alleviate the flooding.
Community Coordinator, Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Neilson Mckenzie related to the Government Information Agency that the extensive squatting especially in the North Ruimveldt areas prevents access to the northern canal to facilitate the required drainage works.
He explained that the illegal occupancy of the state reserves makes it impossible for the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Mayor and City Council to access those reserves to dig the canals and desilt and clean drains to ease the flood woes in those areas.
Therefore, as a result, “what we had to do is improvise and do alternative drainage works to drain the water from North Ruimveldt through South Ruimveldt and other areas. It is not the best thing, it is a costly exercise, and the government is making moves to regularise the situation as it relates to the cleaning and clearing of these reserves to facilitate adequate drainage.”
However, after a few weeks of negotiations and consultations with residents in North Ruimveldt,
and visits by representatives from the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority, drainage works in North Ruimveldt areas have commenced.
McKenzie explained that these works are all part of the $150M that was voted for in Cabinet for emergency drainage works that cover several areas in Georgetown. “It stretches from the Bel Air and Sophia areas, right into North and South Ruimveldt. We’re looking at critical areas, and seeing how our intervention can affect more efficient drainage in those areas.”
These works saw several residents being employed from the North Ruimveldt areas. The Community Coordinator noted that throughout the execution of these works, residents from the respective areas will gain employment.
One resident, Mark Baird, said he is happy to be employed and contribute the development of his community. “I feel real nice because the mosquitos and bottles that use to blocking the drains are no longer there all the place need now is lil maintenance.”
Another resident, Henry Luke, who has been a resident of North Ruimveldt all his life and a founder member of the community welcomes the work. Luke who is the contractor for one of the teams working in the area said, “though the time span between the cleaning is too long, now that the government is trying to bring back the beauty in this community we are grateful for this initiative.”
Similar works will continue in South Sophia and Plum Park, Kitty and Subryanville and Albertown and Queenstown area among others in preparation of and to alleviate flooding in these communities.
By: Ranetta La Fleur