Bartica grappling with flooding due to seawall breaches, high tides

The pump that was installed yesterday to assist with draining the water from the town.

Sea defence breaches have resulted in the flooding of Bartica, which Mayor Gifford Marshall says will be spending some $3 million to correct the broken infrastructure and to assist with the cleaning up.

Speaking to Stabroek News yesterday, Marshall explained that the new town has been under constant flooding since last Tuesday due to the combination of the neap tide, several breaches in the seawall and heavy rainfall.

“There has been heavy rainfall in Region Eight and Seven and so the water around Bartica is very high and we discovered a lot of breaches on the seawall,” Marshall said, while pointing out that the clogged outfall channel on First Street also contributed to the buildup of water in the town.

“Upon investigation, we discovered that the wall itself has a number of breaches and so because of that the water is coming into the land and affecting a number of residents,” he added.

According to Marshall, the flooding is currently affecting some 200 residents but only about a dozen homes have been flooded. “The majority of persons that are being affected only have their yards flooded and it’s just about a handful that the water is flooding their homes,” he said, while adding that the situation is nonetheless unacceptable and has to be resolved swiftly.

“Since from last week Thursday we have been doing some emergency work but because of the heavy rainfall, the situation got worse,” he explained.

“The municipality is committed to bringing relief to the residents. As such, we are expected to spend some $3 million dollars to correct the broken infrastructure. In addition, cleaning detergents and other amenities will be distributed to the residents whose homes were flooded,” he also said.

According to Marshall, the municipality was able get an “8 inch gravel pump” from a businessman in the town and it is now installed and is assisting with getting the water out.

In addition to the breaches in the sea defence, Marshall said the outfall channels were clogged with garbage. As a result, he is imploring the residents to ensure that they dispose of their waste properly. “We have a free waste management system and there is no way we should have this crisis. It is affecting some of the outfalls and we are hoping that it can be corrected,” he said.

Meanwhile, a Government Information Agency (GINA) report said Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Annette Ferguson has announced an immediate intervention.

“What I will be doing from our end as Minister of Public Infrastructure is to have my sea and river officer, along with the Mayor visit the area and have an assessment done, a comprehensive report submitted, and if we have to treat the issue as an emergency, we will so do to have these works executed,” the statement quoted Ferguson saying.

The officers from the ministry are expected to arrive in Bartica today.

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