Rain floods Linden, Govt. promises urgent action
Incessant heavy showers yesterday resulted in the flooding of several areas on both the Mackenzie and Wismar shores in Linden.
The flooding prompted Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud, to allude to the possibility of relocation of some residents whose properties are threatened; and/ or restoration of these areas.
At any rate the situation requires some serious engineering overview, according to the Minister.
Pine Street, Mackenzie, was inundated, while on Wismar Silver City, Poker Street and Third Alley seemed to have feared the worst from the water that washed down the hills.
Several homes in Silver City and Poker Street had almost a foot of water, which had to be bailed out by the occupants. Up to the time of writing this story, there was still water in some of these homes.
Minister Robert Persaud, along with Chief Executive Officer of the NDIA and major stakeholders in Region Ten visited these affected areas shortly after the showers and spoke with the concerned residents.
He said that as early as today works will begin to help alleviate the threat of flood in these areas.
“We need to change the type of programme we have from a contract to a more ongoing one, so as we go along, we will try to improve working with all stakeholders especially the residents here.
“We now have to move from a maintenance mode to more of a long term fixing and rehabilitation mode which would require much more resources, and a total reorientation on the part of citizens.’’
Persaud added that because of its topography the area is very susceptible to erosion. Whenever it rains a lot of the top soil washes down from the hills and silts up the drains which have not been working for between twenty to thirty years.
The silt that washes down from the hills has resulted in several properties on the Wismar shore, to have the appearance of sunken properties, but in reality what has happened is that the silt and sand have accumulated under and around these properties over the years, making windows look like doors, and rendering the floors way below the surface of the nearby roadways.
The result is that whenever it rains heavily, the water naturally flows right into these properties, resulting in much hard work and frustration to the occupants.
Minister Persaud pointed out that discussions were held with a number of engineers who were asked to sit down and in the long term see what could be done about the situation. He added that we need a sense of activism across the country if we are to effectively respond and manage and deal with the effects of this type of heavy sporadic rainfall.
Quite recently, the Minister had told concerned residents, including farmers and D&I workers at the Linmine Constabulary Hall that some $30 million would be spent on drainage and Irrigation projects to help mitigate drainage problems in Region Ten.
According to the Minister, the National drainage and irrigation authority has embarked on a number of projects to assist farmers with irrigation, including the installation of irrigation pumps at different locations.
Some of the major works to be carried out, are the construction of control structures at West Watooka which is estimated to be $13,568,500, the construction of Soak-away structures at Wismar Hill that is $7,576,500; we will also be carrying out the construction of control structures at Kara Kara and that is estimated to be around $6,025,700 and also the construction of drainage structures at Wismar Hill which would be about $3 million.
Residents of Christianburg, Green Valley, Block 22, Industrial Area, Rockstone and West Watooka will also benefit from the Ministry’s strategic plan since major desilting and manual cleaning works will be executed at the creeks in those areas.
Some of these works will be executed with the use of imported pontoon and an excavator.