The two drainage pumps at the Trafalgar outfall, Region Five that were vandalised and left inoperable for two years are now fully functioning.
Frederick Flatts, Chief Executive Officer, acting, of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) told the Government Information Agency (GINA) recently that the project to rehabilitate the pumps was progressing satisfactorily.
“We now have both pumps at the Trafalgar pump station working,” Flatts told GINA on Wednesday.
The acting CEO said that other works, inclusive of fixing the control room and installation of a perimeter fence and lights, to prevent a repeat of vandalism to the pumps, have been identified and will be undertaken, once approval is given by the Ministry of Finance.
The two pumps have a combined capacity to drain almost 3,000 gallons of water per second. The NDIA is tasked with the maintenance of drainage structures, and works in collaboration with various agencies to prevent and alleviate the effects of widespread flooding.
The NDIA had programmed to rehabilitate these pumps before the rainy season commences in November. However, following three floods and protests by residents who, on one occasion blocked traffic on the public road, the drainage agency decided to proceed with advertising for the rehabilitation of the two vandalised pumps.
After an annulment of advertisements inviting tenders, the contract valued more than $40M was awarded to General Engineering and Supplies Services which had actually set up the pump station a few years ago.
During the May/June extended rainy season, the authority was called upon to assist the MMA/ADA district to address the flooding caused by a combination of factors including non-functioning drainage pumps, a silted outfall channel and rice farmers releasing excess water into the main drainage channel.