The residents of the Essequibo Coast continue to experience flooding from heavy rainfall. Around 2 pm on Saturday (July 23rd) I received phone calls from residents of Mainstay/Three Friends and Hampton Court that their yards and lower flats were under water. They wanted me to highlight it in the Guyana Chronicle being its Essequibo reporter and do a letter to the Stabroek News where I always get results whenever it is published.
At Mainstay/Three Friends, it was reported that while the pump and koker have been fixed there is a more serious problem which is preventing the water from reaching the koker and pump and being discharged into the sea. Whenever the rain falls heavily residents have to take their livestock to higher ground to save them from dying. In my last letter in Stabroek News I highlighted that if the regional administration and the town council do not dig out those places with small tubes and those without any tubes the flooding will continue to exist.
This is exactly what is happening at Hampton Court too. All the internal drains leading to the main canal and to the channels are blocked up and the water cannot get out from the housing areas. The local leaders do not have to go to the university to know that. The ordinary man and woman can see what is causing the flooding in these villages. At Mainstay/Three Friends, I was made to understand by the residents that the Interim Management Committee which had been installed by the PPP some time back, placed a small tube across Mandir Street which is preventing the water flowing freely into the main drainage canal. Unless that small tubing is removed the people will continue to experience flooding and lose everything.
Mr Roopan Ramotar, a prominent businessman of Mainstay has offered the residents his Hymac free of cost with his own operator to dig out the small tubing and replace it with a bigger one so the problem can be fixed but no one from the region or the town council has come forward with the tubing. The residents told me that they do not know who they can go to for help now. They are willing to help themselves but they are afraid that when they dig out the tubing they will be taken to court for interfering with the structure. All they need to fix this problem is the tubing and they hope that when this letter is published someone in authority will come forward with the tubing.
There are hints that we are facing a La Nina weather situation, characterized by excessive rainfall. The daily average discharge of rain is expected to increase, resulting in flooding. There has been a tremendous increase in rainfall in the month of July. If the malfunctioning drainage and irrigation system is not fixed the people will continue to suffer. Many of these kokers and tubing operate inefficiently because of inadequate sizes or failure to correct some minor faults. As I am writing this letter to the press, the Cotton Field mandir compound is under water and the special function by Dr Satish Prakash has to be kept on the roadside under a tent.