The Chesney sluice which drains by gravity is more effective than the pumps

Dear Editor,

At the end of the Chesney drainage canal in Corentyne are two electrically operated pumps that lift the water from the canal into the ocean. There is another canal that runs parallel to that one and which drains through a sluice. This sluice drains water by gravity into the ocean.

I usually visit the outfall and have long since noticed that the water in the canal leading to the electrically operated pump is higher than that in the canal which runs parallel to it and which leads to the ocean. It appeared to me that a lot of water could have been drained by gravity. This could have been done by simply draining some of the water in the canal leading to the pump to the other canal. I am at a loss to know why this was not observed when the pumps were set down. As it was a dam was built to block the water from entering the canal which drains by gravity. I am not an engineer but it is beyond me to understand why the estate would choose to pump water when it could flow to the ocean by gravity. One would have thought that it is the water in excess of what could be drained by gravity that would require pumping.

During this rainy season it was finally observed by the estate administration that it was possible to drain some water by gravity and three tubes were set down. The canal is so high currently that it allows the water to run for almost twenty-four hours per day into the other canal and then to the ocean.

Those tubes were set down on Saturday, January 3, 2009 and strangely enough more have not been set down since. One can only presume that those who laid those tubes did not notice the capacity of the other canal to drain so much more water. One would have thought that once the estate administration saw something that was operating that effectively, they would have quickly taken it on board. Some of the estate staff are saying that the three tubes drain as much water as the two pumps currently. It is therefore beyond my comprehension to see why more tubes are not laid.

Then there is the matter of the most powerful pump at Albion which has been out of operation since October last year and has not yet been repaired. If that pump were in operation the extent of the flooding would have been a lot less. It makes me wonder if GuySuCo did not expect the December rains to come this year.

One would have expected that an entity such as GuySuCo would have been a lot more serious about its drainage infrastructure given the effects of flooding.

What is heartening is that the estate senior staff compound has also been extensively flooded.

I am sure that the effort and time required to fix the two problems highlighted above would be a lot less than the cost to the estate and the surrounding community currently. At the end of this year, I am sure that the flood would be blamed for the low production.

We the ordinary workers were told not to expect to be paid any Annual Production Incentive for 2008. If this is the way the estate would be managed in 2009, there would also be no Annual Production Incentive then either. This is a totally unacceptable situation.

I ask the Chief Executive of GuySuCo to look into our plight and ensure that these problems are corrected forthwith, and to ensure these occurrences do not happen again. The corporation is too vital to the country’s economy for us to allow these things to happen. The people of the surrounding community also deserve better. When all is said and done we are the people employed by the estate.

Yours faithfully,
(Name and address provided)

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