Mahdia ‘mops-up’ as floodwater recedes

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…contract awarded for repairs to bridge
…mayor urges regularisation of home construction

ENTRY into Mahdia, in the Potaro Siparuni Region via road, should become easier in the next 24 hours, Ministers of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, and Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson have assured.

This is due to immediate remedial work being undertaken to ensure access to the region. “We have awarded the contract to two local contractors who will start fixing the bridge to allow road use as this is the main road into Mahdia,” Minister Patterson told the Department of Public Information (DPI) on Saturday. “We will be doing desalination to creeks in the area to ensure there is a smooth run off of water during this rainy season,” added Minister Trotman.

Earlier in the day, both Ministers Trotman and Patterson, accompanied by engineers from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and officers from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), travelled to the region to assess the situation. Upon arrival, they were greeted by Mayor of Mahdia, David Adams, and briefed by Captains Salim October and Michael Andrews from the Civil Defence Commission (CDC). The ministers also took with them relief hampers for those persons affected by the flood.

Minister Patterson also told DPI that plans are being put in place for the construction of a new, sturdier bridge to replace the temporary one being built. In the meantime, Mayor of Mahdia, David Adams, said he was pleased with the assistance given thus far by the government and the CDC. “I am also pleased that immediate repair to the breached road leading into Mahdia is being done immediately by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure.” he noted.

Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman (right), interacts with Mayor of Mahdia, David Adams, and officials of the Civil Defence Commission at Mahdia

Over the last few days, heavy rains which resulted in flooding in some areas caused destruction to the main pathways. During Saturday’s visit to Mahdia, the De Silva family, whose home is located at the mouth of the Mahdia Creek, expressed relief with what they described as quick response and assistance given by the government. Mother, Bridget De Silva and her daughter, Mary Ann Frasier, accepted the relief hamper from Ministers Patterson and Trotman, who were accompanied by Captains October and Andrews from the CDC and Mayor Adams. Another resident, Sadia Boodram, said she too was happy for the assistance given by the government during this time.

Adams, in expressing gratitude for the timely assistance given by the authorities, pointed out that the CDC’s quick response was timely and welcomed. According to the Department of Public Information, Adams explained that moving forward, a plan to regularise home construction, especially in low-lying areas, with the Housing Department, will be initiated. This will avoid the recurrence of home owners being affected by the seasonal flooding.
Cleaning kits were distributed to 14 households which were affected. Additional supplies were on Saturday mobilised and deployed to the region. On Saturday, Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, and Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Raphael Trotman, visited the area to assess the situation.

After receiving reports of flooding in low-lying sections of Mahdia, the CDC dispatched a two-member team to assess the situation on Friday. The team, which was headed by Captain Salim October, conducted assessments at several locations which were hit hardest by the flash flooding. Most of those affected were in houses built close to creeks and outfalls, despite warnings not to do so.

Residents indicated that water levels reached as high as 3 feet in certain places. The flash flood was as a result of torrential rains which commenced on Thursday night. A section of the roadway which connects Mahdia with the coastland , washed away during the heavy rains. A temporary fix has since been put in place. The CDC through the National Emergency Monitoring System (NEMS) is continuing to monitor the flood situation in various regions across the country.