Pump more money into flood fight

-Region 5 chairman urges gov’t

As floodwaters slowly recede in parts of Region Five, Regional Chairman Vickchand Ramphal says it is time for central government to put more money into tackling drainage issues.

Speaking with Stabroek News yesterday, Ramphal said floodwaters in some communities on the West Coast Berbice have started to recede since additional pumps were deployed to the area by the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) and the Mahaica, Mahaicony, Abary-Agriculture Development Authority (MMA-ADA). However, he said, farmers continue to suffer losses of crops and livestock.

The regional official highlighted that in some areas, most of the canals and drains are clogged with vegetation making it difficult for water to flow optimally through the drainage system. He said that while the NDIA and the MMA-ADA are working assiduously, he does not believe that they have the resources to manage Region 5 along with the entire country.

“Presently, we are having heavy rainfall around the country and I don’t think the MMA can deal with the entire coast. I think central government should intervene and put additional funds into this entire thing,” Ramphal said.

In terms of the two defective pumps at the Trafalgar pump station, the chairman said he hopes that the NDIA would be able to get the funds to fix at least one of them to assist with pumping water out to the ocean.

As it relates to the Mahaicony Creek areas, several parts of which have been swamped for the past weeks, Ramphal related that the situation had not changed much since the flooding there is caused mostly by the level of the river, which in turn, is impacted by the amount of water flowing down from the backlands. He also pointed to the persistent heavy rainfall over the last month.

“The problem there is a bit different from the others because of the situation with the river and it’s not like you can install a pump and get the water out. You have to wait until the water level drops for relief,” Ramphal said.

In relation to Moraikobai, he disclosed that water levels have dropped slightly. Toshao of the village, Colin Adrian, told Stabroek New yesterday that while it is still raining, the water level has dropped a little. He said all the people can do, is cope with the situation and hope that the rain stops soon and the water level goes down further.

Residents of the Mahaicony Creek areas confirmed that the water level had not dropped significantly since yesterday. They said that their hands were tied and they could not do anything to help with lowering the waters.

Stabroek News had reported over the last month that a number of villages in Region Five were experiencing flooding owing to excess water flowing down the Mahaicony Creek. Areas such as Trafalgar, Lovely Lass, Number 29, 30 and 31 villages were inundated, mostly because the main koker and channel in Trafalgar were blocked and the water from the excess rainfall flowing down the river was unable to flow through to the sea. Two Trafalgar pumps have also not been functioning for the past two years. Moraikobai and other communities along the Mahaicony Creek were also experiencing heavy flooding due to the rainfall and drainage issues.

The NDIA and the MMA-ADA had deployed several excavators and pumps around the region to aid with drainage. While floodwaters have receded in some areas, in other parts the land remains swamped.

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