Jun 18, 2018 News
– over 100 affected, REO wants contractor to compensate residents
Residents of San Souci, Wakenaam were sent into a state of panic early yesterday morning after unusually high tides broke through a section of fragile sea defence, sending the Essequibo River rushing into homes.
Many in the island community were left wading in knee-deep, stagnant water and assessing their losses, which is likely to include millions in livestock and household appliances.
While spring tides are being blamed for the breach, fingers are also being pointed at a contractor who worked on the sea defence in the area.
NDC Chairman Sheikh Ahmad and Regional Executive Officer, Denis Jaikaran have both accused the sea defence contractor of substandard work, and are calling on him to stand the full cost of compensation to the residents.
According to reports reaching this publication, the breach occurred at around 05:30 hrs yesterday in an area where sea defence work is ongoing.
Following the breach, the small island of about 3,200 residents became vulnerable to the spring tides. According to residents, water from the river flooded this small farming community within minutes, destroying everything from household appliances to livestock.
Some residents said the water rose to some three to four feet. Others claimed that they were affected by water as deep as six feet.
It is believed that the water remained at a high level for about five hours before receding. Residents told Kaieteur News that the water rose so quickly that they were unable to save anything. Based on reports, refrigerators, washing machines and cupboards were destroyed.
One woman recounted losing all her groceries, after flood water seeped into her ground floor cupboard.
Civil Defence Committee personnel were yesterday working around to the clock to close the breach.
A release from the Department of Public Information stated that Director General (ag) of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Lt. Col. Kester Craig and other officials are in the villages assessing the situation.
Engineers from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure are on the ground conducting remedial works since another high tide is expected this evening.
Also present were Wakenaam NDC Chairman Sheikh Ahmad, and Regional Executive Officer of Region Three, Dennis Jaikaran.
Ahmad told Kaieteur News that yesterday’s breach was the second in four days. He noted that there was a similar breach in the same location just last Tuesday morning.
He said the situation resulted from negligence and shoddy work of a contractor, who is presently working on the river defence project in the area.
“This is a contract on the Sea Defence Board through the Ministry of Public Infrastructure… It is of the opinion of residents and the NDC that this flood was as the result of negligence of the contractor who is not on sit; he should’ve been there to seal the breaches.
The other thing is that the work wasn’t done properly, if it were properly done, a flood would’ve been avoided… So far, the contractor has been avoiding calls and he hasn’t been responding.”
The DPI quoted REO Denis Jaikaran as stating that the region responded swiftly and is presently providing support to 12 severely affected residents. It stated that 37 residents suffered minor losses.
According to the DPI, Lt. Col. Craig said the CDC will be providing cleaning supplies to residents as well as supporting the regional administration in its efforts.
Thus far, there have been no reports of illnesses and the health centre is providing residents with assistance.
The CDC’s Acting Director said the region’s response is testimony to the efficiency of the Regional Disaster Risk Management plan implemented two years ago.
He informed that the Public Health Ministry will be on standby in the event of any outbreak of vector borne diseases.
The situation is being monitored and supplies are en route to the island. It is said to be the first time the CDC has been able to respond and provide supplies on the same day.
REO Jaikaran said that the RDC and NDC will be distributing detergents and other supplies to residents.
Aug 08, 2022ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The Cricket West Indies (CWI) Women’s Selection Panel yesterday announced the West Indies Women’s U19 squad for their upcoming five-match T20 International (T20I) Series...
Aug 08, 2022
Aug 08, 2022
Aug 08, 2022
Aug 08, 2022
Aug 08, 2022
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – In the first part of this commentary, the conclusion was reached that the great... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]