Major D&I works to continue in Region Five

The construction of a sluice at D’Edward village and the reinstallation of a pump at Trafalgar are expected to help   prevent flooding in Region Five.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), Frederick Flatts, told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that sluices and pumps are among some of the new additions for Region Five in 2017.

Residential lands in the region had been affected by floods after heavy rainfall compounded with inadequate drainage.

Flatts said that although the Mahaica-Mahaicony Abary/Agricultural Development Authority (MMA/ADA) and the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) are responsible for managing drainage and irrigation systems in the region, the NDIA has been providing assistance.

“The MMA would be constructing a new sluice at D’Edward. Right now there is a three door sluice at D’Edward and that will be replaced by a four door sluice. The whole aim is to get rid of more water by gravity and a sluice is far more efficient than a pump. You get rid of more water and it’s cheap,” Flatts explained.”

An overhead view of some residential lands in Region Five

An overhead view of some residential lands in Region Five

$100M has been budgeted for the initial drafting of the design and Phase One of the construction of this capital project. Additional funds to complete the project will be made available in the 2018 budget.

In addition to the three pumps that are in operation at Trafalgar, a fourth pump which underwent repairs, is expected to go back into service to assist with drainage during high tides.

Flatts pointed out that water in the main drain of this particular area is usually very high. This means that when there is excessive rainfall, water is not able to flow into the main drain.

In 2016, at least 20 culvert doors were constructed to prevent the in-flow of high tides, water from the main drain and from heavy rainfall, on to residential lands.

Also in 2016, eight tractor driven pumps were hired by the NDIA to assist with the drainage of residential lands. This adds to a long list of support given by the authorities to this region.

Addressing reports of flooding at Cane Grove, Mahaica, Flatts called on cattle farmers especially, to be careful when using the pastures between the Conservancy Dam and the Crown Dam. “That area is low lying and anyone who goes into that area; it’s a pegasse area its very low, you will know that during the heavy rainfall you have a lot of water there,” Flatts reminded farmers.

Flatts is also urging persons who choose to graze cattle in that particular area to be aware of the state of that land during heavy rainfall periods and to consider removing cattle from grazing in the area so as to prevent losses.

In addition, the CEO stated that persons who have been utilisng the conservancy and Crown Dams for grazing livestock cattle should know that these lands are always subjected to flooding since these are traditional low lands where it is not suitable for planting crops. It can only be used for grazing in the dry weather, he said.