The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) is taking precautionary measures to prevent recurrent flooding in the Mahaica Mahaicony Abary (MMA) agricultural district, Region Five, and communities along the Essequibo Coast, Region Two.
Chief Executive Officer of the NDIA, Frederick Flatts said despite a return to normalcy in Region Five, the authority stands ready to minimise flooding should the situation arise.
“We anticipate there will be no further flooding unless there is very heavy rainfall in the area. We still have six pumps in the area waiting there just in case there is a recurrence of the sort of rain we had, and also if the farmers were to release more water from their lands,” Flatts said.
Meanwhile, the NDIA is maintaining the presence of machinery in the Region for rapid response should the need arise. Flatts told GINA, “That’s why our pumps are still in the area. We still have excavators in the area, the pontoon with the two excavators clearing the outfall channel is still there and so we have taken a lot of action to ensure there is not a recurrence of what took place.”
On the other hand, efforts to clear the Trafalgar outfall channel, a major asset in keeping Region Five drained, are continuing with frequent dredging operations aimed at removing siltation.
The Chief Executive Officer said, “It’s cleared, but the excavator has to be working continually because for every day you don’t have rainfall you have siltation problems, so it’s good that we don’t have rainfall, but it’s bad for the outfall channel because we depend on the flow of water helping to cleanse the outfall channel.”
Questioned about efforts to rehabilitate the two non-functioning hydraulic pumps located at the Trafalgar pump station and which were vandalised in the past, the NDIA head said, “In another two weeks, we’ll be opening those tenders, and we will be treating it as an emergency. Hopefully we don’t have too many problems of getting a contractor because we are aiming for these works to be completed before the rainy period starting in November.”
The NDIA is tasked with the maintenance of drainage structures throughout the country and currently has a pontoon with two excavators working on the Essequibo Coast to clear outfall channels.
“On the Essequibo Coast, our major task is the clearing of the outfall channels. As long as the outfall channels are cleared, we tend to have relatively efficient drainage. If that is not so, then we would have some flooding, let’s say between La Union, going right up to Devonshire Castle,” Flatts said.