The regional administration and the Anna Regina Town Council should be held accountable for the flooding of the township, Anna Regina Multilateral School, businesses, people’s properties and public buildings, including the Anna Regina Police Station and the Guyana Revenue Authority compound. There should be no finger-pointing and excuses; all the irrigation regulators along the main canal conservancy of the Tapakuma Irrigation Scheme had been left open by the Drainage and Irrigation staff, and discharged water into the housing areas when the flash flood came. The only pump at Anna Regina was out of fuel and the koker operator was not on the job and could not be found to open the sluice door to avoid the flooding of the township. I was reliably informed by party comrades and officials of the regional administration of Region Two, that two drums of fuel had been requested by the pump operator days before the flash flood and these were lying in the operations and maintenance compound awaiting transportation a stone’s throw away from the pump.
When the residents saw that the water was rising into their yards and businesses, they went to the koker and the pump to see if they were in operation and found that neither was in operation while the water kept rising quickly. The pump operator and some fishermen then broke the koker door to release the water from the land; at that point the residents then decided to roll the two drums of fuel manually from the D&I compound where it had been lying for days to the pump some 100 yards away from the location. This operation was not successful because no one was there to issue the fuel until the next day, and by that time the damage had already been done in the township. One week before the flash flood, there was heavy rainfall; businesses were flooded and damage was caused to TV sets and other electrical appliances. I called the Regional Vice Chairman and told him that our businesses and yards in Cotton Field were flooded, and he told me it was the town council’s fault. I then called the Town Clerk and told her what was happening in our village; she told me that the council has one backhoe which had been out of order for years because it needed a fuel pump and maintenance, and there was nothing either she or the council could do to avoid the flooding in the township. Editor, as I travelled through the township all the main trenches and internal drains leading to the kokers and the pump were clogged up and had been for decades. They were not being cleaned or maintained to avoid flooding.
As I travelled further outside the township, the canals and trenches alongside the main public road could been seen clogged up, with antelope grass as high as a tree. These trenches and internal drains have not been cleaned for decades, especially in the Maria’s Delight and New Road areas. The regional administration and the town council must stop the blame game and get on with the job they were elected to do by the people.
We’re defined by what we pass on to the next generation.