– several emergency measures put in place to address flooding
– CDC to distribute relief packages tomorrow
Following instances of heavy and continuous rainfall over the past few days in several parts of Charity, which is located in Pomeroon-Supenaam, Region Two, a number of farming and residential areas are currently affected by flooding.
Today, Prime Minister Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips and Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha visited several of those communities to get a firsthand look at the extent of the flooding.
During the assessment outreach, the two Government officials also met with a number of residents and reassured them of Government’s commitment to developing long term solutions to the country’s drainage issues.
Tage Corlet, a resident whose yard is currently flooded, said that she was pleased to see the officials in the area. She also took the opportunity to share her concerns about the condition of the drainage structure which is close to her residence.
“This water gotta go down. I think this kokar is too deep. If it was shallow, from the time this water come here all woulda go down. When the kokar them too deep it can’t pull. Them does take people from far to come and do these projects. We need people who know the area to atleast work with these people,” Ms. Corlet said.
Minister Mustapha said that the NDIA will be working along with the local bodies to put temporary measures in place to drain the affected areas.
“We’ll be moving one of our mobile pumps from Windsor Castle to Charity North to assist with the flooding in the area. I’ve also asked the NDIA to come up with a long term plan so that we can avoid these types of occurrences. Officers from NAREI, GLDA and the GRDB will also be conducting assessments of the losses that farmers would’ve suffered. Based on those assessments, we’ll then extend assistance to the farmers who would’ve suffered losses in the form of planting material, seeds, fertilizers, etc.,” Minister Mustapha said.
The subject Minister further disclosed that teams from the Region and the Ministry have been instructed to monitor the affected areas in the Pomeroon.
“There is another issue in the Pomeroon and I’ve asked the NDC to monitor that area and give us feedback on a regular basis. A number of areas there are under water and so we need our Regional officials to work with us. We’ll also be sending teams there to do an assessment of the losses,” Minister Mustapha said.
Prime Minister, Mark Phillips while offering comments said that, based on the assessment of the flooded area, there is a lot of work to be done.
“There is a lot that needs to be done. Not only in terms of clearing the outfalls and the kokers and pumping the water off, but there is also a lot of garbage that has built up over the years blocking the outfalls in those areas. So we expect the NDC to work with the RDC, of course with support from central Government because that is a massive project in the long term. Short term measures; we’ll have the Civil Defense Commission come here tomorrow to carry out an assessment and also offer some relief supplies to the persons affected,” Prime Minister Phillips said.
The Prime Minister also urged persons to desist from littering as it was observed that many of the drainage structures were filled with garbage.
Visits were also made to the primary commercial zone in Charity, where several businesses were also visibly affected by flood waters. Regional officials who were apart of the delegation noted that during the latter parts of last year, efforts were made to have the drainage network in Charity desilted.
It was also observed that a number of stalls were constructed over the drains which posed some amount of difficulty in executing clearing. Minister Mustapha has called on the Town Council to work with persons who occupy these structures to devise a system to ensure much needed drainage works can be executed.
The Ministers were accompanied by several senior officer from the Ministry of Agriculture, and other Regional Officials.