More relief underway for flood hit communities

The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) will be placing two additional pumps at Buxton to assist in relieving the flooded community and surrounding villages along the East Coast Demerara (ECD.)  This was revealed by NDIA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Frederick Flatts in an interview with Department of Public Information/ Government Information Agency (DPI/GINA).

CEO acting of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority, Frederick Flatts

CEO, NDIA, Fredrick Flatts

Flatts explained that the agency recognizing the urgency to relieve the flooded area, have organised for a pump from the East Coast and another from Berbice to move to Buxton. He explained that this intervention, along the six pumps that are currently in place in Buxton, along with a pump stationed at Lusignan and another at Annandale, should assist in alleviating the flooding at Buxton and the surrounding communities.

Heavy rainfall compounded by High Tide has resulted in Buxton and several surrounding communities being flooded, since Thursday. On Saturday, a Ministerial team comprising Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson and Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder visited the area to assess the situation and to bring relief to the communities.

One of the immediate interventions taken was a decision to move one of the three pumps in place at Strathspey to Ogle to assist in getting the water off the land in that area.

The water recede from main road.

The water recede from main road.

Today, DPI/GINA visited the Buxton area and a few of the residents gave their reaction the flooding.

Michael Todd, a 62-year-old farmer said that flooding in Buxton has remained a major issue for the residents for a number of years, he hopes for betterment and cooperation from residents to help in improving the community’s drainage system. He pointed out that most of the crops from his farm has been destroyed due to the flooding and hopes that there will be assistance for those farming in the areas in regard of their loss.

Jammaila Gibson said she noticed that water has started to recede from her property after it stopped raining but hopes for further assistance from the government in regards to permanently relieving the area.

Other residents said that they believed the reason for constant flooding in the areas is due to the improper drainage practices particularly the cleaning of the drains, since when the stuff is cleared from the trenches it is left on the parapet and when it rains all the stuff goes back in the trench.

A Buxton resident leaving her home.

A Buxton resident leaving her home.

On Saturday however, Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder disclosed that NDIA is spending $600Million to execute a long-term drainage solution for the Buxton to Strathspey catchment area. The minister explained that the interventions cover the construction of three additional pumps at critically low points along the catchment area and that NDIA is expecting to have some aspect of the work completed before the next rainy season.

Meanwhile, the Civil Defense Commission (CDC) Director General, Colonel Retired Chabilall Ramsarup told DPI/GINA today that the CDC is continuing to assess the areas affected in order to commence the distribution of sanitation packages promised on Saturday.