Along the mighty Pomeroon River, lie a number of inlays and canals filled with small communities of no more than a few hundred people. People who took the opportunity of the ‘Government Comes to You’ initiative to voice their concerns with drainage in their various areas along the river.
Yolanda Ashby is a farmer living along one of these canals, not too far from the Martindale Primary School, in the lower Pomeroon area. She is faced with the issue of navigating the canal during low tide as it is the only way in and out of the community.
Ashby was surprised to see a team from the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) visiting her personally as a follow-up to a few issues she had raised at the outreach. “We’re facing a problem with the canal, it needs desilting because it’s shallow, you could see the antelope grass has taken over. However, even clearing the grass will not solve the problem because the canal is shallow,” she said.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NDIA, Fredrick Flatts took the time to listen and explained to Ashby that he along with his engineers are aware of the problems she and others are facing and assured her that the issue will be resolved.
“We’ll be excavating that channel, right now the award of tender is awaiting NPTAB’s [National Procurement and Tender Administration Board] attention, so we are hoping that we will be able to physically start those works perhaps in another two or three weeks.”
This was welcome news for Ashby, as she recalled the “run around” she faced years ago when she had first raised the issue during the previous administration.
Flatts and his team visited several areas along the Pomeroon River, as a direct response to issues raised by these very persons who visited the outreach in Anna Regina just over three weeks ago.
“Following the meeting, which was labelled taking the government to the people, a number of persons in the Pomeroon area made complaints concerning the poor drainage and irrigation in their areas. We visited a number of areas along the Nunes Canal, Jones Canal, Friendship Canal, we were also in Hackney Canal,” Flatts.
Armed with the necessary information from these visits, which stemmed from persons utilising the outreach to voice their concerns, the NDIA will now be able to formulate an action plan to aid those residents in need.