NDCs and drainage authority partly responsible for flooding

Dear Editor,

The flooding in Guyana is not only caused by heavy rainfall but by human negligence both of the NDCs and those responsible for drainage and irrigation. Last week Thursday it rained very heavily all day and the water came under my entire house; in addition my neighbour’s kitchen was under water and my front bridge was covered.

Where I live here in Agriculture Road the water from the trench on the right hand side of the road runs back into my yard. From Fiber Tech Industries on this trench is full of bushes, huge trees and snakes. The BV Triumph NDC is responsible for digging this trench, but it has never been dug. If this trench was just six foot deep my yard and the residents’ yards would never have flooded. I always pay my rates and taxes on time early in January and I have never owed a cent, but I cannot get the services from the BV and Triumph NDC.

The other trench over by NAREI that overflowed into NAREI’s compound and is now a threat to their stock farm too, is another one that needs digging and cleaning. If these trenches were dug deep and properly maintained then we would have had no flooding. To avoid flooding we need deep main trenches while the smaller trenches leading into them must be maintained properly. I notice that residents in Agriculture Road have built a lot of structures on the government reserve to do business as well as making playgrounds; this makes it impossible for the NDC to clean these trenches. I wonder if it is not the NDC that gave these residents permission to build business structures on the government reserve; if not who gave them permission to do so?

I have travelled this entire nation, and everywhere I see nasty trenches full of trees and bushes. My sister called me from Port Mourant last week and told me her yard is under more than three feet of water and there is no pump to pump it out. In my travels I notice many pumps and kokers are not working. Why are we paying rates and taxes to NDCs that have no interest in the citizens?

In the news I see Ministers Patterson and Holder and Mr Flatts trying to help a situation that’s not far from the 2005 floods, but my questions are the same: Why try to learn to start a pump only after you are flooded? Why try to bring a dragline on a slippery muddy dam to work when these jobs could have been done earlier in the dry season? We should not be asked to pay taxes again until 2020 to recover our losses, or residents should sue these NDCs for compensation.

I really want Messrs Patterson and Holder to come into Agriculture Road to see these business structures that hinder the cleaning of these trenches. I also really want them to see this potholed road that’s a disgrace to the Guyana School of Agriculture.

It will take money to clean the trenches, but a lot is wasted on things like Mash, Carifesta, and Independence.  We need to secure this nation from constant flooding;  right now millions of dollars are lost in the rice and agriculture sector and those areas need to be protected. Millions are lost in livestock and household assets. We need more competent people at the NDCs and the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority. This flooding hinders our now green economy.

Yours faithfully,

Rev Gideon Cecil

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