Jun 23, 2009 News
A koker left open Sunday night caused untold hardships for some residents of Blankenburg, West Coast Demerara. Early yesterday morning, one of them, a poultry farmer named Nazmoon Khan, rushed to save her chickens.
She said that it was about 02:00 hours when she heard her chickens making a lot of noise so she grabbed a lantern and rushed outside, only to see the flooded conditions.
She said that with the help of a neighbour, she managed to remove many of the 500-plus meat birds she was rearing.
“A lot of them already duck (under water) and them we save catch cramp and started to die out,” the woman said.
By noon, the death toll was nearing 100 and mounting.
Koker attendant, Kandial, said that something went wrong and the door could not be lowered. He said that the rising tide simply rushed in and flooded sections of Blankenburg.
He claimed that some aspect of the mechanism was wrongly placed and this caused the door to jam tight.
However, some of the affected people said that Kandial was drunk and simply failed to lower the koker.
They said that numerous complaints have been made to the regional authorities but no action has ever been taken.
Nazmoon Khan said that this is the second time an open koker has hit her poultry farm, but that yesterday’s was the hardest.
Her chicks were a mere week from the market. The woman said that she does not have cold storage so she cannot kill the chickens in bulk. She said that on Friday, a buyer named Sunil from Ruimzeight, was preparing to buy out her market-ready chickens.
Yesterday, many people had collected the dead birds for dog meat and Nazmoon was happy because she was glad to get rid of them. At the same time, Nazmoon had estimated her loss at about $250,000 from the floods.
Officials from the Neighbourhood Democratic Council visited the koker at sunrise and had seen the plight.
No one was available to comment and Kandial was still on the job, promising to do some work that would correct what he called the mechanical flaw.
Other residents had flooded yards and in a few cases, the water had intruded into their homes. The tide was rising again last night but by then the residents had taken the necessary precautions.
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