City Hall concerned about effects of rainfall in Georgetown
Over the last 24 hours, Georgetown experienced in excess of four inches of rainfall. This combined with the incidence of a high tide and indiscriminate littering served to allow overtopping in several parts of the city yesterday.
According to Public Relations Officer of the Georgetown Municipality, Royston King, the embarrassingly large amount of garbage in the city’s waterways, including styrofoam, plastic and other non-biodegradable materials, is affecting the efficient and effective drainage of the city. Essentially, this is why the council continues to appeal to all citizens to desist from dumping their waste in the canals, King noted.
He revealed that with the exception of the pumps at Riverview and J.P. Santos, which are being serviced by the council’s mechanical workshop, all other hydro flow pumps managed by the council are operable. But although the pumps at Kitty and Liliendaal are electrically operated, a major source of concern is that these pumps are connected to one power supply line, King stated. He pointed out that in the event of a power outage the pumps usually would not work, thus creating a situation that affects the drainage in certain wards of the city.
King revealed that acknowledging the fragility of the city’s drainage system and the importance of the drainage equipment, the council had some time ago requested another power supply line to be connected to the pumps. However, this has not yet been addressed by the relevant agencies, he added.
“Another power supply line to the existing one is necessary to facilitate a switch over, in case of a blackout, in one phase of the power system, to allow the pumps to continue to operate,” King noted, even as he said that the council will make another attempt to secure this facility.
He disclosed that over the last four months, the City Engineer’s Department carried out desilting and other drainage works on the Downer, Cane View, North sideline, Lamaha and Cummings canals. The works cost in excess of 50M dollars, he said.
And in order to help maintain the integrity of the city’s drainage system, the municipality is appealing to all citizens to avoid throwing their garbage onto parapets and into streets and alleyway drains.
On Wednesday, at a Public Health and Markets Committee meeting, the Deputy Director of Solid Waste Management, Ishrie Ratan, revealed that some residents continue to indulge in the habit of dumping their refuse on roadsides and on parapets, in the city.
As a result, he said that the department has observed an increase in the number of accumulations in different parts of the city.
“Usually, these waste end up in the drains and canals, clog the system and create public health and environmental challenges for the council,” he noted. This dilemma, Ratan said, would usually cost the council about $1M per day to pick up parapet waste – an additional cost to the Council which also has to pay for the collection and disposal of household and other waste.
And in order to address this problem, King stated that the constabulary has stepped up its patrol in the city, targeting primarily those who are found littering the streets or dumping garbage in the canals. Such persons, according to King, will be prosecuted.