– Black Bush, East Coast floodwaters also begin to recede
DAYS after Prime Minister Mark Phillips and Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha visited flood-affected areas in Charity on the Essequibo Coast, residents have begun to experience some amount of relief as floodwaters have started to recede.
The ministry’s National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), along with the Region Two (Pomeroom-Supenaam) regional administration, were able to collaborate following a directive from the ministers to put systems in place to bring some degree of relief to affected residents.
It was reported that following the mobilisation of a drainage pump at Charity, floodwaters that had accumulated in several areas following days of persistent rainfall, began to recede.
Minister Mustapha, who instructed the NDIA during his visit last Tuesday to have the pump deployed to the area immediately, said that it was critical to put measures in place in order to bring some level of relief to those affected.
“I’m happy to report that just days after visiting these areas, we were able to bring some amount of relief to the residents who were affected. I would’ve instructed our regional engineers to treat this issue with a great amount of urgency and to deploy a pump that operated in Windsor Castle to the area temporarily. When I visited the area with Prime Minister Phillips, I was able to assess the situation first- hand, and following consultations with my technical officers, it was determined that that was the best alternative for the time being,” Minister Mustapha said.
The subject minister added that the ministry is also working to develop long-term systems to combat flooding in vulnerable, low-lying areas across the country.
Additionally, areas along the East Coast of Demerara are also experiencing some amount of relief after a visit by Minister Mustapha. During the visit which took place on Wednesday last, Minister Mustapha instructed the NDIA to have two machines sent to the area to begin emergency works on several drainage channels that were in need of clearing.
Residents from Unity, Hope, Cane Grove and other areas along the coast who were affected, appealed to the minister for some assistance, noting that no maintenance works had been carried out on a number of areas’ main drainage channels and canals for some time.
On Thursday, the NDIA commenced clearing a number of canals that were blocked in Hope Estate areas on the East Coast of Demerara, which has contributed to floodwaters receding in certain areas. Further, a machine was deployed to commence clearing of approximately 2,000 rods of drainage channel in Unity. That machine is expected to commence works today, with that intervention expected to service both farming and residential areas that are flooded.
The Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA), the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) and the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), have also dispatched extension officers to affected areas to assess the losses farmers have incurred. To date, approximately 457 cash crop farmers and 92 livestock farmers from areas in Regions Two, Five (Mahaica-Berbice) and Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), have been registered by NAREI and the GLDA (Guyana Livestock Development Authority) respectively for assistance from the ministry. With rice cultivation in the irrigation phase, GRDB’s extension officers are currently monitoring the fields and will conduct a similar exercise should there be any reports of losses. Farmers who have suffered from the flooding but have not registered are asked to contact their regional extension officers.