Recent heavy rainfall on the East Bank of Demerara and specifically the
Diamond/Grove Township (DGT) area has exposed the inadequacy of its drainage system which has resulted in extensive flooding of the residential and business districts.
Yesterday much of this area was cane fields and pastures but today these lands have been built-up with banks, gas stations and luxury homes and as with most modern community development they require adequate electricity, water supply, roads, garbage collection and of course good drainage to improve the quality of life of the people.
President Jagdeo has previously expressed his disappointment with respect to the inadequacy of the drainage system in Guyana and felt it was due to the lack of proper planning and development. It is not clear which agency – Region 4 NDC or the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) is responsible for drainage of DGT but in the present confused state of affairs not much has been done for capital drainage improvement of this area to meet the needs of its development and crisis action to deal with recurring floods is usually activated only when the situation becomes desperate.
The DGT sprawl has developed without adequate planning. Therefore, the necessary infrastructures are not in place or have not been developed to meet the needs of the people. No new sluices/pumping stations have been constructed in recent times to release the increased rainfall runoff into the Demerara River in a timely manner over a given time for this area and therefore the existing drainage system (canals, culverts, sluices, etc.) which were probably adequate for a bygone time is now found to be inadequate to deal with heavy downpours without flooding of low-lying developed areas and hence without immediate improvements, the situation would only get worse.
Therefore, it is imperative that the NDC/NDIA have a drainage plan in place for this area which should be quickly executed to prevent recurring flooding of DGT and be one step ahead of the unprecedented rapid development which the area is now experiencing.