Chief Executive Officer of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fredrick Flatts told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that all pump stations and drainage pumps in Region Two are fully operable, and sluice doors open.
Flatts was responding to reports which indicate that approximately 5000 acres of rice lands in Lima, Essequibo, Region Two and other surrounding villages were flooded as a result of the heavy rainfall over the weekend.
The NDIA official told GINA that, “We only know of one pump that had an issue and that was the one at Taymouth Manor that needed a radiator. All other pumps in the Region Two area, Three Friends, Charity, Hampton Court, (and) Devonshire Castle, all should be working,” Flatts explained.
Flatts added that over the weekend, the Regional Drainage and Irrigation engineer and Ministry of Agriculture’s pump contractor were in the region ensuring all pumps, including the one at Lima were in working order.
Meanwhile Regional Chairman of Region Two, Davenand Ramdatt acknowledged that, “the Lima community has a build-up of water.” Ramdatt added that regional engineers carried out an assessment, and to resolve the issue, he said the Lima pump needed to be operationalised.
In order to ensure that the Lima community’s flood woes are resolved, Ramdatt said that “the pump
that was not in use will go on.” This was expected to be done today so as to bring relief to residents and farmers.
Flatts stated that the responsibility for maintaining all pumps in that region remains that of the regional administration. “If it is a case, where these pumps are not working, then NDIA would be informed.”
He added that if there is a case of mass flooding in the area, it would be as a result of the negligence of the Regional Administration.
The Lima pump station was installed at an overall cost $289M and was the last of eight pumps to be commissioned under the Line of Credit from the Government of India. This pump station was commissioned in January of this year.
The pump serves over 400 farmers and other residents on the Essequibo coast and drains water from approximately 15,000 acres of land.