Kwakwani trail still impassable

Efforts by Public Works Ministry officials to fix a broken part of the Linden/ Kwakwani trail in the vicinity of Ituni in the Upper Deme-rara area yesterday failed to prevent water from further eroding and flooding the roadway.

Road flooded, use boat: The new Ituni transportation service.

Assistant Regional Execu-tive Officer, Devon Bremner told this newspaper from Kwakwani that  the situation along the Linden/Kwakwani trail was further hampered yesterday as water which was being drained from the affected area, eroded sections of an embankment nearby.

Bremner noted that the situation may require a bridge being built across the affected section of the roadway. He noted that persons were still travelling out of the area yesterday but in smaller numbers as compared to drier days. A shuttle service, which brings an added fare to passenger’s pockets, has been in operation since the section of the road was displaced on Friday.

While the sandy area had experienced sunshine over the past three days, floodwaters remained at the same height at Kwakwani yesterday, Bremner noted.

Bremner said that the approximately 7,000 residents of Kwakwani and Ituni combined as well as residents of surrounding communities were looking at a bleak holiday period as the economic activities in the area, including logging and farming are being hampered by the situation.

Ituni resident Dwayne Wilson, a logger whose operations are affected by the on-going environmental situation told Stabroek News yesterday from the area that the embankment which was broken by the engineers to drain water which had accumulated along the roadway, collapsed yesterday.

He said that the situation has added insult to injury and according to him residents in the affected communities are hoping that the authorities implement a work plan to bring relief to the area as economic activities in the area remain at a standstill. He posited that one solution which may temporarily ease the situation is that the road may have to be diverted. The affected residents were hoping to have an audience with Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud to listen to their concerns as the situation continues.

Wilson said that some vehicles were able to pass over the affected section of the roadway earlier yesterday, however a few had to be pulled-out of the area after the embankment collapsed. Per-sons were keeping their fingers crossed as water from a creek further inland, opposite the affected area, remained out of sight yesterday.

Wilson and other residents at Ituni were peeved that the authorities were travelling through their area on the way to Kwakwani and other water-logged areas in the Upper Demerara area, without stopping to assist residents whose food supplies were dwindling. Bremner noted yesterday that the Civil Defence Commis-sion (CDC) team which was sent into the area over the past two days had been distributing relief items, such as food and sanitary supplies to residents at Kwakwani. He said that the team was expected to travel to other flooded areas today to continue the distribution exercise.

Medical supplies and food packages have been distributed to residents in the Upper Demerara area over the past two weeks as floodwaters, the result of heavy downpours, have disrupted the lives of many in the affected areas.

The Ministry of Agricul-ture has called on regional and local bodies as well as residents to be alert to the on-going situation as the rains are expected to continue through the end of this month. The agency has mandated the National Drainage and Irriga-tion Authority (NDIA) to undertake work programmes to assess and implement solutions to bring relief to residents.

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