Though flood waters have started to recede, farmlands in the Pomeroon continue to be affected, says Regional Chairman Davanand Ramdatt.
He was at the time offering an update on last week’s incident where several breaches along the Pomeroon River dam caused residential areas and farms in both the Upper and Lower Pomeroon to be inundated.
“The level of water in the affected areas which is the farmlands and the residential areas in the Pomeroon would have dropped, but they are suffering the effects of the water being there because there is still water on the land,” the Chairman shared.
He further noted that he, along with other stakeholders, met with Councillors of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) who reside in the Pomeroon to discuss the issue. Coming out of the meeting was a recommendation to have two excavators placed in the Pomeroon and be managed by a special committee to assist in the sealing and building of the dams to prevent breaches.
“…The two excavators…one in the lower half and the other in the Upper Pomeroon [would] be managed by the residents or farmers themselves, so that they can help to seal and raise the weak areas along the Pomeroon area… These excavators would be managed by a committee identified by farmers within the two areas,” Ramdatt explained.
Efforts will also be made to have those areas where there were reports of breaches fixed, more so considering that the situation could repeat itself in the event of a normal high tide.
“There are probably in excess of 20 such areas that have suffered a breach of some kind, however this is still to be verified. A team is expected to be there sometime later this week to do a more detailed verification because when we visited last Monday, the water was still on the land so basically this visit would be to do an impact-based assessment on the flood in the Pomeroon,” the Chairman related.
“The fact that those areas are porous now means that water can come on to the land much easier… recommendations have been made and I asked our REO to communicate to the Ministry of Communities so that they would be updated on the situation,” he added.
In the meantime, there has been a request for fertilizer and pesticides by farmers since a number of crops have been
damaged as a result of the inundated farmlands
“We are informed at the level of the RDC, that crops such as pears, plantains, bananas and ground provisions have been affected. While it is that the water is still there, you see some of the damage that was done, but the full impact cannot be assessed as yet,” the Chairman noted.
Alluding to the implications of the flood on the health of residents in the Pomeroon, Ramdatt said, “There has not been any major negative reports as it relates to health issues but the regional health officer is expected to make contact with the respective health posts and health centers in the Pomeroon to have a status update.”
He further noted that where it concerns the damage done to a section of the road at Good Hope, caused by the uprooting of a tree, members of the Sea Defence were able to seal the area as a temporary solution. However, he has not yet received a response from the Minister of Public Infrastructure on the issue, after communicating to him what had happened more than a week ago.
Similarly, the Sea Defence Department, along with the contractor who was awarded the contract to carry out rehabilitative works on the breached Charity River front dam were able to temporarily seal the dam. There has not been an increase in water levels at Charity since then, the Chairman added.