The clean-up campaign turned corporate as oil explorer CGX Inc on Monday chipped in with plans to clear two nearby trenches in hopes of alleviating the flooding that bedevils that part of the city.
“It is a corporate social responsibility,” Suresh Narine, Co-Chairman of CGX, stated as he announced that CGX will be taking the initiative to clean the gutters and two of the main trenches on New Market Street at a cost of $1.5M. The work will be done on Saturday and Sunday.
“In Georgetown, New Market Street seems to flood first of the many streets that run parallel to it. It floods faster and the water takes longer to recede,” Narine said, explaining that the reason for taking up the project is the inconvenience it causes to their headquarters, which is located on New Market Street, between Waterloo and Camp Streets. He said that they reached out to GAICO construction and General Services Inc and had a study done on what could steps could be taken to alleviate the flooding situation. The results of the study pointed in the direction of the New Market Street drains and the alleyways.
GAICO pointed out and recommended that if the side drains along New Market Street and the cross trenches were cleared, there would be a significant difference in the drainage of New Market Street and the parallel streets. Narine said they reached out to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure who agreed with the project.
“At the same time we are hoping that this initiative is mirrored by our corporate partners. We are issuing a polite, perhaps, a pleading challenge to all our corporate neighbours to join us. If we, all together, act in this fashion, we can start to address the significant draining problem the city has,” Narine said, as he highlighted the pressure the government faces in tackling the issue.
Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Walter Willis, complimented the effort that is being made by CGX in assisting with the drainage issue.
Additionally, the task force that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and the City Council has formed is currently cleaning the surrounding drains and major canals in the city. The City Council is tasked with clearing 15 sq miles of the inner drains while the Ministry of Public Infrastructure is tasked with clearing the 11 main canals. Currently, the task force is cleaning the Cummings Canal, which has been 90% completed, while the City Council has cleared the Church Street, North Road and Avenue of the Republic drains and plans to continue working with the ministry within the next two to three months.
While it would be beneficial for all 11 of the outflow canals to be cleared simultaneously, Neilson McKenzie, Community Coordinator of the clean-up campaign, told Stabroek News that some of the canals will have to be focused on individually as they are more difficult than others to clear.
Willis hopes that the project is at least 90% completed by the next rainy season in December-January.
In addition to engineers that will be working on the clearing of the trenches on Saturday and Sunday, Narine said that the CGX staff will also be involved in the exercise.