The force of the river and neglect by those in authority to fix a damaged koker at Windsor Forest, West Coast Demerara, (WCD) are likely the main contributing factors for its collapse.
Yesterday, residents reported that troubling situation finally reached its peak, as the high tide and water pressure rose around noon, causing a portion of the structure to cave in resulting in flooding of the nearby canals and trenches. The situation also signaled possible disaster to the small agricultural community.
This newspaper understands that numerous reports of a small crack in a koker were made to the Regional Authorities and forwarded to the Ministry of Agriculture’s National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) but to no avail.
While some persons declined to comment on the occurrence for fear of victimization others who gathered at the outfall to witness the situation expressed their disappointment at the authorities for ignoring their calls.
One such person is Ayube Mohamed, a fisherman from the community. In venting his frustration, Mohamed noted that the situation could have been avoided had the authorities heeded the complaints made by residents. Mohamed expressed concern that that situation could escalate and cause considerable damage to the community which caters to fishermen and rice cultivators.
“Been one small crack, Awe call till awe weary and dem nah come fuh fix am… me know because me does wuk out here. Dem prefer bring one big pump and put am down dey what nah serve none purpose …All dem interested in is fuh full dem pocket because watch, the koker break in. Then dem a tell people fuh vote. Vote fuh what not that? Is time fuh a change.” the man said.
Another resident related that instead of rehabilitating the koker, the authorities opted to commission a brand new Surendra Engineering pump system.
“Dem nah look fuh the lil crack but dem look fuh put down a new pump. Me nah see the uses fuh the pump yet expect fuh put money in some contractor pocket,” the resident stressed.
Rajendra Bissessar, a member of the APNU/AFC was also present. Bissesar was headed for a forum in the Region when he noticed the broken structure and decided to stop. He viewed the situation as a perfect example of poor workmanship.
Bissessar noted that issues like these occur when officials don’t take the time to carefully assess a problem before investing time and resources in a project.
“This problem could have been avoided had the relevant persons taken the time to assess the situation,” he said noting that the issue could lead to a natural disaster.
Meanwhile, residents said that efforts were underway to have the situation remedied. Kaieteur News was told that a neighbourhood contractor had been called in to temporarily stop the breakage. The contractors were expected to place “stop logs “in place of the breakage as soon as the tide subsides.
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