Residents of Number 3 Village, West Coast Berbice are concerned that the main drainage canal is hardly being cleared and that the Mahaica-Mahaicony-Abary/ Agricultural-Development-Authority (MMA/ADA) does not remove weeds after chopping them.
The residents told two Region Five Alliance for Change (AFC) councillors—Cindy Sookdeo and Herman Anthony—during a visit, that the canal has been clogged for a long time with “heavy weeds” and that the water cannot flow freely.
According to a press release from the AFC, the residents claim that the excess water would back up into the residential area during the rainy season, resulting in flooding.
They said too that “for about 15 years they are complaining to the relevant authorities to keep the canal clean but never got any favourable response…”
The press release stated too that “one of the residents said that the MMA cleaning and replanting the weeds, makes no sense. We a punish here for over 15 years, none a dem nah come see how we living here. We a pigs or what?”
In response, General Secretary of MMA, Aubrey Charles, told Stabroek News that “from our investigations there are two drains south of the public road at the Number 3/Number 4 area, behind the residential area – parallel to public road.”
He said one of the drains is under the Community Drainage & Irrigation Programme (CDIP) and the other is under the Agriculture Maintenance Programme and he is not sure which the AFC councillors are talking about.
He said though, “what I do know is the CDIP was suspended in January because of financial difficulties.
The work was restarted last month and the persons responsible for maintaining those drains are Nohar Prashad, Seudat Seechan and Balwant Sukdeo.”
Charles said: “When the MMA took over the programme, community meetings were held and the workers were identified by the residents of the village; MMA did not choose them.”
He pointed out that “the drains are cleared every six weeks and workers are in the process of clearing those drains.” He said the contractor, Kubeer Kurlall, is maintaining the agricultural drainage channel.
After this newspaper contacted Charles he sent out a field supervisor to check on the matter before giving a response.
He stressed that too, “It is not true that those drains were not cleaned.”