The Ministry of Public Works is monitoring the disintegrating sea defence at Mosquito Hall, Mahaica and permanent works are planned this year, a source says.
Residents of the area are worried that their community can face major flooding in the event the rapidly deteriorating sea defence dam and seawall collapse.
Speaking with Stabroek News yesterday, residents said that the sea dam has been undermined by water. They pointed out
visible fissures along the seawall, which they said water seeps through from underneath whenever there is a high tide.
Terence Gomes, a resident of the area, said that it would be very much appreciated by residents if something can be done about their sea defence, he suggested that in order to prevent water from coming over the seawall during high tides, a two-feet hike in the height of the seawall would solve the problem.
An official attached to the Ministry of Public Works’ Works Services Group, told this newspaper that the ministry has been monitoring the area and recognizes that the sea defence is in a critical state. That official, who preferred to remain anonymous, added that in 2013, Mosquito Hall was not allocated funds to permanently repair the seawall and dam but the area has been placed for permanent works to be done during this year.
Residents added that they have always had poor sea defences but that it had gotten far worse during the past two years.
They are worried that in the event the seemingly lopsided seawall collapses, the entire community will be plagued by flooding. They also dispelled reports of squatting in the area since they felt that this could possibly have led to the area being ignored. They said that they have been regularized in the area for the past ten years.
Gomes pointed out some temporary work that was done on the sea dam one day prior to this newspaper’s visit yesterday.
Sand bags and clay soil was placed by contractors on the dam which was broken at the end of December last year in a desperate attempt to prevent flooding in the area, Gomes said.
Residents felt that the sand bags placed on the sea dam would not be enough to protect the community against the sea, especially whenever there is a high tide mixed with prolonged rainfall. The contractors were nowhere in sight yesterday.
“We are scared for our safety, ya’ll should be here in the afternoon when the high tide come in, and water does be splashing over the sea wall, you woulda be scared to stand here or be anywhere at the back here,” residents said.
The rocks that were used to build the seawall have begun to collapse and holes were seen at different parts of the seawall.
The Ministry of Public Works official added that the works that have been done in the area with the sand bags are temporary. “Work in that area is ongoing but the rainy season interrupted it to some extent, but we will continue at the end of this week and during next week,” the official said.
Both the residents of Mosquito Hall and the ministry official said that to date there has not been any significant flooding in the area.