– open to assisting M&CC where necessary
The Christmas season has arrived with a seemingly unwanted guest.
Guyanese awoke yesterday morning to discover several of their villages along the coast; and hinterland communities flooded due to increased rainfall which began during the wee hours of yesterday.
The nation’s capital, Georgetown, at around noon yesterday was plagued by overtopping drains transforming streets into canals.
Meanwhile, scores of persons were seen hop-scotching through streets; huddling up under storefronts occasionally snapping back from their daydreams to dodge the incoming splashes from passing vehicles, while Police Officers clad in their raingear stood at strategic points in the city battling to restore order to the flow of traffic.
Many residents took to social media venting their frustration since many of their plans to venture into the city to carry out their Christmas shopping were thwarted.
Questions were raised about the authorities’ ability to handle the situation and to bring
forms of relief to hard hit areas.
The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) said that it is fully prepared to respond to any eventuality which may arise as a result of the rainy season, as pumps and excavators have been deployed countrywide.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the agency, Fredrick Flatts, underscoring the importance of being prepared, pointed out that 93 and 94 percent of pumps and excavators respectively, are operable and have been deployed.
“Of the 58 pumps, 54 are working and have been deployed at critical locations to ensure water which has been accumulated recedes off land within 24hrs,” he said.
A release from the authority said that it currently has a fleet of 99 excavators which are deployed at critical location to clear drainage and de-silt canals. Of the 88 sluices owned and operated by the NDIA, 83 are fully working and contracts have been tendered for bids to have the remaining five operable.
“We are in a good place at the moment, but we are taking all the necessary steps to ensure that we have the additional sluice working to further complement our fleet,” the CEO said.
At Region Two, there is presently a problem with flooding due to siltation. The Ministry of Agriculture has since deployed two excavators and a pontoon, which commenced de-silting the outfall channels, to bring relief to those affected as a result.
With respect to water accumulation in the city, Flatts said that he will be having talks with the City Engineer of the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) to see where assistance can be given where necessary.
Meanwhile the Hydrometeorological Department has since advised that rainfall is expected to continue today, and as much as 45mm is expected – which is above the established drainage capacity within the city.
According to Chief Hydromet Officer, Dr. Garvin Cummings, accumulation of water can be expected in some areas between tides.
“We recorded 73.2 mm of water between eight and 11 this morning alone, so you can see the variations. Although this is expected to decrease in magnitude, rainfall is expected to continue over the next three to five days in Regions Four (Demerara/Mahaica) and Five (Mahaica/Berbice),” Dr. Cummings said.
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