What the people say about Flood woes

Photos by Oliceia Tinnie

Beverly Embrack, a welder of Angoy’s Avenue

‘Nothing ain’t change since I living here for over fifty years. As soon as rain fall hard we flood out. They need to clean the drains more. Over the years only the road change. If all the trenches were cleaned maybe it could help alleviate all the flooding. When the trench flood the water backing up and then the yard accumulate water. So if they keep the trenches clean the water can run out.’

Ravi, engineer of New Amsterdam

‘The flood situation can be really terrifying to a lot of people, especially school children and the dam is usually hectic. The flood really affects a lot of people, mostly the schoolchildren that lives at the back of my area. The dams does turn into like a swamp and is hard to access it. The drainage is the problem, they need to clear the drainage. In the past every election they would come look after the dams but now we not getting anything fix. The other day we came together and made a bridge out of our own pocket. They need to fix the streets and maintain them and clean the trenches regularly.’

DeQuyale McPherson

‘There are several things that ought to be done to correct those affected on the coastal areas. I believe that they should improve our drainage lines by regularly clearing canals, trenches, drains, etc. They should also plant more mangroves trees to strengthen/aid in coastal defence.  A number of persons ought to be educated on the importance of environmental protection & preserving the environment for example creating community or village “Disaster Prevention Committees”, which would be tasked to educate and encourage persons to get involved.’

Latchman Bissoondyal

`I believe that the ministry can ensure that they are first prepared for heavy rainfall and in doing so they must ensure that all the main canals, drains and trenches are cleaned regularly. They must also ensure that their pumps are functional at all times.’

Rupnarine Singh, University Student

‘A major part of the flooding problem is due to heavy rainfall coinciding with high tides, as this situation prevents drainage via sluices. Therefore more pumps need to be set up along the coast to facilitate drainage even when tides are high.’

Joshua Ferreira, University student

`The management systems of the sluices along the coast need to be improved to maximize drainage efficiency. Additionally, major drainage canals along the coast need to be periodically cleaned.

Communities should also begin to take a more active role in the maintenance of the drains servicing their areas’.

Navindra Lackraj

`I believe that we can minimize the recent flood by keeping our surrounding drainage system clean of vegetation and garbage. More pumps should be installed for emergency situations that are happening right now in this rainy season.’

Hasani Tinnie Communications Officer

‘Everyone needs to contribute in order to assist with the drainage situation on the coast. Everyone needs to stop littering which contributes to build up in the drains and ultimately flooding. Sometime back, a Dutch Risk Reduction team did an assessment of the drainage situation in Guyana and put forward several recommendations. The Minister of Public Infrastructure was impressed with recommendations but I’m not certain if any of those recommendations were implemented. The Dutch are renowned for their expertise in drainage and irrigation so it may be wise to implement those recommendations.’

Onika Melville

‘I think we can minimize the flooding on the coast, first by practising better garbage disposal. A lot of times people would throw their garbage in places where it shouldn’t be and most times it’s in the drain, and when the drain is blocked the water can’t get to flow freely so the place floods.  Another thing the City Council and NDC needs to do is clear the drains and trenches more often, they wait until it’s going to rain before they start or attempt to do anything and I think if they clear it regularly we won’t have the place flooding this much. It has to be a hand in hand approach from the citizens working along with these relevant authorities.’

“Yukti Binand

‘The council should ban littering and be sterner about it to stop people from throwing garbage in the drains. A buildup of garbage blocks the free flow of the waterways. There should also be more kokers to control the flow of water coming in and out. The drains should be dug and cleaned more often to increase its depth and increase its holding capacity for water. More drains should also be placed into the communities to make the process of draining surface water faster which will cause less damage to homes and farms.’

Sasha Singh, clerk

“Ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your country’ was said by John F. Kennedy. I think it should be a collective effort between the people and the NDCs and town councils in minimizing the flooding on the coast. We’re well aware of our seasons so why not maintain the drains, canals and trenches before the May/ June and November-December rains storm in.’

 Patrina Haynes, University student and entrepreneur

`Persons living on the coastline of Guyana are many times affected by floodwaters when heavy rain falls for hours or days. One major contributing factor to flooding in this area is the very poor drainage systems. Many times you would see major drainage works being done to canals and trenches close to the rainy season or during that time. This shouldn’t be the case, main drains should be cleaned at least every three months to allow the free flow of water. The free flow of water in the drainage systems is most likely prevented by continuous growth of vegetation. Not only main outlets should be cleaned frequently but also citizens should play their part by keeping surrounding drains free of vegetation and garbage. With that being said I strongly believe flooding would be greatly reduced.’

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