Swift action minimised flooding at Dantzig, Content and Belvedere -Regional Chairman
The Region Five Regional Democratic Council (RDC) has put systems in place to ensure water recedes quickly in the Dantzig, Content and Belvedere communities following Sunday’s heavy rains.
Regional Chairman Mr. Vickchand Ramphal told DPI two contractors are currently removing debris from the Bellamy canal to ensure water can flow freely through the channel. More tubes have also been installed to allow faster drainage.
“I want to reassure farmers and residents within Content, Belvedere, Dantzig areas that the situation is being monitored properly by the various agencies that operate within the Region as well as the Regional Democratic Council. We also have representatives checking on the area daily to ensure that there is no further disruption to the sea dam,” Mr. Ramphal said.
The region had experienced severe flooding resulting from a sea defence breach in 2019, which caused the destruction of thousands of acres of rice and pasture lands. However, the current situation is less severe because of the measures implemented by the PPP/C Government.
“Just within a few months, the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Government would have been able to reconstruct most of the dams that were breached and so today our farmers and residents within those communities are much safer, though the project is not fully completed. Only a few acres of rice cultivation are under threat following the recent heavy rainfall,” Mr. Ramphal said.
In 2019, works to strengthen the Mahaicony sea defences started following the first breach which was estimated at 200 metres and which inundated both residential and farming communities.
The Region was then affected by a second breach, which extended the damage by five kilometres. This left farmlands between Planters Hall and De Hoop barren. Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha has since committed to helping farmers regain their livelihoods.
The previous administration, in 2019, awarded a $352 million contract to BK International Incorporated to conduct corrective works to the first breach, which are still ongoing. Of that sum, $105 million has already been expended. Additionally, A&S General Contractors Incorporated was contracted to conduct repairs to a section of damaged sea defence at Prospect.
The PPP/C Government had allocated an additional $145 million under Budget 2020 to fix the damage caused by the second breach.