Lowland to benefit from D&I upgrade as Agri. Minister deploys machine to carry out emergency works

– residents also appeal for better roads, housing

Residents from Lowland Village on the East Coast of Demerara will soon benefit from a complete upgrade to their community’s drainage system following an immediate intervention by Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha during a community meeting late Wednesday afternoon.

During the meeting, residents raised a number of issues with the Minister and his team, which included the need for works to be done on a number drains and canals, rehabilitations works to the main roads and land allocations, as many persons are currently squatting.

Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha while engaging a resident of Lowland during the meeting

Pandit Dahdoo, Vice Chairman of the Lowland Community Development Council (CDC), pleaded with the Minister for some amount of work to be done on the community’s drainage system, which he said currently poses serious health risks to members of the community.

“Our drainage system is very very bad. When you walk around our village, especially on the southern side, the drain is so clogged up with bushes. The culverts are so blocked up that when the rain falls the water is stuck especially in the southern side. Because it is stuck there; the water raises and cannot get out. It affects not only the crops and livestock, but the people that live around the areas. It is very dangerous for our children because right now if you go and look around that area, we have the burial ground and then this water there, the colour of the water has changed and its smelly. I’m asking on behalf of the CDC and the people of this village, for the Ministry to help us with the cleaning of these drains and we will continue to encourage our people to continuously tidy their areas,” Mr. Dahdoo said.

Ms. Danmattie Bisram, another resident also complained about the state of the drains in Lowland.

A section of the gathering

“I’m living here over five years and way down at the back, going to the line, we have really bad drainage. I made a report to the NDC about the third street, that street doesn’t have any culvert. I don’t know if because of the COVID they didn’t come. I think the housing people were around here one time and I complain to them and they said they would look into the matter. Couple days ago, the villagers, because of not getting the drainage, the villagers ask around of a little donation to buy a 10” pipe and buss the dam and put it at the bottom through the dam and now we get a little relief with the drainage. We are asking for something to be done so that we can get better drainage,” Ms. Bisram said.

Another resident pleaded with Minister Mustapha for some intervention to be made to address the state of the roads in the area.

Responding to issues raised during the meeting, Minister Mustapha informed the residents that he had instructed the NDIA to send an excavator to the community to complete all the drainage works in the area.

Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha

“I want to assure you that from next week, a machine will be coming to the area to do works on all the internal drains so that you will have proper drainage here. The machine will work until the entire system has been done. We’ll redo the entire drainage system for this community. I’ll also ask the head of the NDIA to do a report for me to ensure we know the extent of the works to be done in the entire area. We have to get corporation from the residents because there are residents who have bottle necks when they make their bridges or culverts. If we have to put in tubes to help with the drainage, we’ll do so,” Minister Mustapha said.

Minister Mustapha also informed the residents that he will inform his colleague Ministers about the road and housing issue raised so that they can visit the community and work along with the residents to bring some amount of relief.

“I’ve seen some of the roads while we were driving in. They are indeed in a deplorable state. I’ll ask the Minister of Public Works to come into the community with his engineers to look at it. That main road has to have a proper engineering study because the canals on both ends are very deep and it’s causing the road to sink,” Minister Mustapha said.

The subject Minister also informed those in attendance that a team from the NDIA will be meeting with them shortly to do an assessment of the works to be executed in the area so that representation can be made for those projects to be included in the Ministry’s 2021 work programme.

The Minister was accompanied by the Ministry’s Director General, Madanlall Ramraj and other senior officials of the Ministry.