…implementing Dutch Engineers’ recommendations
South Ruimveldt, Georgetown has always been a community prone to flooding. Responding to the need for a remedy of the situation, residents in the community have begun pooling resources to nip the recurring problem in the bud.
For the year so far, a number of areas have been desilted, with the help of residents. One such resident is Edward Collins, who provided equipment to desilt drains in Rasville. Further, through the efforts of resident Cleon Chung of Chung’s Global Enterprise the Roxanne Burnham Gardens playfield receives attention in landscaping and the business establishment also assists in the desilting of neighbourhood drains.
South Ruimveldt falls within Constituency 14 of Georgetown, which encompasses communities such as Roxanne Burnham Gardens, Rasville, Guyhoc Gardens, Shirley Field Ridley, Container City and Industrial Site.
Speaking with Councillor for the area and Deputy Mayor of Georgetown, Sherod Duncan, this newspaper was informed that residents of the community had worked with the Dutch Risk Reduction Team (DRR) during their visit here last year.
“They were mapping the drains in Georgetown to create a model aimed at reducing flooding. The team ended up studying Constituency 14 as a Catchment Area and produced a comprehensive study with recommendations.”
According to Duncan, this study was the precursor to the establishment of the Georgetown Drainage Authority, whereby South Ruimveldt was identified as one of the predominant flooded areas in the constituency and is now a priority area for the authority.
The findings of the report and the priority status given to the community by the drainage authority means that the persistent flooding of South Ruimveldt could soon be a thing of the past, Duncan said.
He highlighted that the community’s resilience to flooding will be improved as it will soon be equipped with a mobile pump, being acquired under a loan from the Indian Government.
The procurement of the pump was guaranteed after the signing of an agreement last Wednesday between Minister of Finance Winston Jordan and Resident Representative of Export-Import Bank of India, Sailesh Prasad in Washington D.C.
The Credit-Line agreement is valued at US$4M, allowing Guyana to benefit from the procurement and installation of fixed high capacity and mobile drainage and irrigation pumps, associated spares and institutional strengthening related to use and maintenance.
However, South Ruimveldt will not be the only community benefitting from this agreement. Mobile pumps will also be used to service areas in Georgetown such as La Penitence, Cummings Canal, Church Street and Sussex Street. These pumps will be deployed close to existing sluices in the city so as to alleviate flooding.
In addition to one pump being placed in South Ruimveldt, Duncan said that this will be supplemented with desilting projects being implemented as recommended by the Dutch Engineers. He said that other works are in the pipeline which includes repairs and construction of culverts to improve drainage in the constituency.
According to Duncan, these efforts could not be possible without the work of all residents and partners which is the reason the constituency chose as their 2017 theme, ‘Year of Partnerships’.
Aside from work being done to address flooding, Duncan said that communities have made progress in other areas. To this end, he gave credit to community leaders such as Ras Ronald Benjamin, Juliet Julian, Nurlene Bess, Bruce Haynes and Eon Thorne.
He said that this group had met and discussed a number of issues affecting the communities, which ranged from flooding, security, communication and infrastructural development. As such, a number of initiatives have begun.
They include the Community of Sunflower Circle overlooked by Dr Reynard Overton, the collaborative work by resident Kibwe Copeland with Presidential Advisor for Youth and the Ministry of Education for their work on the Cadet Lane playfield.
On the issue of security, Duncan said that the continued work of the South Ruimveldt Gardens Phase 1 Policing and Community Development Group led by Bruce Haynes has done exceptional work on the playfields in Tukeit Drive and Orealla Avenue, and the general community.
Addressing education and literacy, constituency Manager Brenda Williams and her team continue to provide a remedial learning programme with free meals for students and a general feeding programme for children in the locality.
Additional partnerships with Courts Guyana Inc. and Rotaract of Stabroek, according to Duncan, will lead to at least 80 per cent of open spaces being usable by residents, thereby improving the aesthetics of the communities.
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