NDC Chairman complains of ‘royal runaround’ to clear blocked Corentyne outfalls

Blocked outfalls main cause of Corentyne flooding – farmers

Residents of areas in the Corentyne are complaining that over 3,000 acres of cash crop, rice and cattle farming land are under water.

According to the residents, this was a result of the outfall channels being completely clogged. The villages that have been hit by flooding are all within the Lancaster/Hogstye Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC). The four main villages are Lancaster, Ulverston, Liverpool and Manchester.

Residents complained that after a day of rainfall the villages would usually flood due to the poor drainage system.

 Forbes Moore
Forbes Moore
Concerned farmers meeting with Gobin Harbhajan, representative of the Prime Minister’s Office in Region Six
Concerned farmers meeting with Gobin Harbhajan, representative of the Prime Minister’s Office in Region Six

Chairman of the Lancaster/Hogstye NDC Forbes Moore said, “The flooding was due to water being trapped in the backlands. This was a result of silt being built up at the outfalls.”

When Stabroek News asked what was being done to address the problem, Moore expressed his frustration at the regional authorities, who, according to him, were taking the situation lightly.

“The backlands have been neglected for years; they do piecemeal work when people complain and eventually it goes back to the same problem,” he said. “We are trying to get the region to send excavators to get rid of the silting up at the channel and we’ve been getting the royal runaround.”

He stated that farmers are suffering, because they are ready to start harvesting their rice and until the region sends excavators to clear the outfalls, the rice is in peril.

Contacted, the regional authorities said that after a meeting was held on Thursday morning concerning the situation, excavators were expected to start working to desilt the channels in the afternoon.

A group of farmers had even visited Gobin Harbhajan, representative of the Prime Minister’s Office in Region Six, to seek his support for action to be taken to desilt the channels.

The two channels that are mainly affected are located at the Alness Outfall and the Liverpool/Manchester outfall.

One farmer, who went ahead and harvested his crop, ended up with a low grade of paddy, some farmers claimed.

 

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