Several Region Five communities are again flooded as a result of heavy rainfall over the past few days. The areas include Bushlot, Golden Grove, Lovely Lass, Onverwagt, Trafalgar and Tempe.
Frederick Flatts, Chief Executive Officer (ag) of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) said that apart from the rainfall, the measures used to mitigate flooding from water released by farmers previously, compounded the situation.
“The farmlands and the residential areas use the same main drain. The last flood, the farmers released water and the water in the main drain was higher than the land in the residential area, resulting in water flowing through the culverts, which have no gates, into the residential area,” Flatts explained.
During the last flood, which occurred about two weeks ago, the authorities had cordoned off the residential area to separate it from the main drain and pumped the water out. Flatts told the Government Information Agency (GINA), “that system remains; meaning when the rain falls the water cannot get out either so that’s what causes the problem. Even if we remove the coffer dams, more water will flow into the residential areas.”
Flatts said the mobilisation and redeployment additional pumps, and improving drainage are among the efforts to bring relief to the communities currently affected.
“I have deployed a pontoon with two excavators to the area. As of today, we have some water passing through the sluice, about 450 gallons per second,” Flatts explained.
According to Flatts “…ultimately, the solution is to have the sluice functioning, as well as to have the vandalised pumps working. We intend to rehabilitate the pumps at Trafalgar before the next rainy season, (in) November.”
The head of NDIA expects that the water will be drained off the land by Friday.