The residents of the Mahaica Creek will face a flooding risk again as the government this afternoon announced that it will have to release water from the swollen East Demerara Water Conservancy into the Creek.
In 2005 and 2006 residents of the Mahaica Creek endured deep flooding as a result of the release of water from the EDWC and it took weeks for them to recover.
A statement this afternoon from Minister of Agriculture Dr Leslie Ramsammy said:
“With deep regrets this morning, I informed the President of Guyana and the Civil Defense Commission of my decision to support the recommendation of the EDWC Commission to open the Maduni Sluice to release water from the East Demerara Conservancy.
“This is the latest of the actions we have taken to maintain the conservancy at a safe level. In most of the places where we measure the amount of rainfall, the amount of rainfall for January 2012 has surpassed by several fold the long term average for January.
Due to continuous rainfall resulting from mild La Nina weather phenomenon, the level of water in the East Demerara Water Conservancy has reached a threatening level and still rising. As a last resort, the Commission of EDWC has taken the decision to have controlled release of water through the Mahaica Creek via the Maduni outlet so as to ensure the integrity of the EDWC dams. Water will be released via the Maduni sluice at low tides commencing today.
“Excess water continues to be evacuated from the EDWC into the Demerara River via the five-door sluice at Land of Canaan and outlets at Kofi and (Cunha) sluices. Releases from these outlets remain our first choice and we will continue to release from these outlets. As soon as it is possible, we will stop releases from the Maduni and rely exclusively on the Demerara River outlets.
“Given the decision of the EDWC Commission to release water through the Maduni, the Ministry of Agriculture is urging that all precautions be taken to ensure that the discharge of water to the Atlantic via the Maduni does not acutely aggravate an already rising Mahaica Creek, due to the high level of rainfall in the Mahaica/Mahaicony catchment areas which flow into the various creeks and rivers.
“The ongoing construction of the East Demerara Water Conservancy Northern Relief Channel at Hope/Dochfour when completed will prevent the use of Lama and Maduni to discharge and put communities under threat.
“In addition, residents in the upper reaches of the Mahaica and Mahaicony Creeks are advised to be on the alert and to take necessary precautions with the release of water to prevent any pressure on the dam.”