Dec 29, 2016 News
The recent flooding in the City of Georgetown and along the coast of Guyana reminded Guyanese once again of the nation’s susceptibility to flooding. This vulnerability had pushed the government of Guyana to approach the Dutch Risk Reduction (DRR) team for assistance to help Guyana address its drainage problems.
The DRR Team came on two occasions and left reports containing recommendations to be implemented. According to Deputy Mayor of Georgetown Sherod Duncan, as it relates to the capital city, it would be useful for there to be a discussion on how these recommendations can be implemented given the heavy rainfall and flooding of the city recently.
When contacted yesterday to ascertain whether the Georgetown Mayor and City Council has considered the recommendations, Duncan said, “Those recommendations have not come before the full council as far as I am aware. But given the heavy rainfall and flooding of the capital recently, it would be useful for us to discuss same.”
Duncan, who is also the councillor representing constituency 14 – South Ruimveldt Gardens, one of the hardest hit areas in the city recently, said that when the Dutch team was in Guyana he took the engineers into his constituency and raised a number of issues with them.
The Deputy Mayor added that he is surprised the matter has not reached the level of council as yet, since the Mayor of Georgetown Patricia Chase-Green resides in the neighbouring constituency 12 which takes in North Ruimveldt, which is also prone to flood.
“City Hall has made no real headway on the issue besides lip service. I’m considering my options, since the issue is bigger than me and needs action from Council and government. It will be a huge undertaking. Outside of the cleaning of a few trenches and drains, which don’t go to the heart of the problem, we have done nothing.”
When asked about what can be done to reduce the vulnerability of his constituency to flooding, Duncan said that it has to do with the clearing of outfalls and kokers. “South Ruimveldt’s run-off comes either to Turkeyen or Ruimveldt. South Ruimveldt because of its geography goes to either Riverview Ruimveldt or Cummings Lodge.”
The Dutch engineers who are Masters Students of the Delft University had spent seven weeks studying a number of catchment areas around Guyana, but particular emphasis was placed on the Ruimveldt and Liliendaal areas, as were identified by the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority, the National Task Force Secretariat (NTFS) and the Georgetown M&CC.
The data which was recorded as a result of the study done by the engineers was used to create a model which is applicable to Georgetown but can be used countrywide. The information was used to inform a modelling process, whereby the variable akin to rainfall and drainage could be inputted into a system to determine what would be the outcome if certain conditions exist, including high levels of rainfall and drainage capacity.
After the team had presented their final report in September, there has been no significant move to have the model used and recommendations implemented in the City, and this was confirmed by Duncan yesterday. The team had conducted workshops with a number of stakeholders on how to use the model. These include the NDIA, Ministry of Public Infrastructure and the University of Guyana.
Some of the recommendations include the de-silting of outfalls, use of small floating dredges and the enforcement of the Drainage and Irrigation Act of Guyana.
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