Slow relief from flooding for Canal No. 1

The rain and their waterlogged yard didn’t stop this family from having a gathering to celebrate the new year

Floodwater accumulated in yards at Canal Number One, West Bank Demerara after intense rainfall over the past week has started to slowly recede and residents are anxious to begin their clean up.

Stabroek News yesterday revisited the affected community and noticed that water levels have dropped but some residents expressed fear that if the rain continues, they may have to endure more flooding.

In one area where both the street and trench had been covered, the water had receded completely but residents remained indoors.  Most low-lying residential yards continue to be the ones most affected.

Residents have made use of sandbags to keep the water out of their homes and some have created makeshift walkways elevated above the water to gain access to and from their yards.

While some were trying to cope with the flooding, for others the disruption of their lives has been unbearable.

“I just want the water to go away, nothing else. We have to be in the house all day…,” said Indranie (only name given), a resident whose entire yard was covered with water.

She noted that while the water level had dropped, a significant volume remain-ed on their lands. She opined that if internal drains are cleaned of rapidly growing moss, they might be able to get faster drainage.

Other residents indicated that they too are waiting for the water to drain off from the land as their plants are under threat. A number of pineapple farms are under water.

One woman said she lost all her passion fruit vines and the other plants at the back of her yard are under water.

While some amount of water had drained off her land, she noted that the portion where her fruit plants are is waterlogged. “I am a pensioner. I depend on these lil fruit trees for a living but this water here might kill all the trees,” said the woman.

Meanwhile, Jacoba Constantia-Conservancy Neighbourhood Democra-tic Council (NDC) Chair-man Dhanraj Bipath last night explained that the council is working to get the water to recede from the yards to bring relief to affected residents.

“We have been able to clean the canal but the water is still draining off slowly,” Bipath said, while noting that an engineer is currently looking at the drainage system to determine the cause for slow drainage.

Asked if there is any plan to clear the internal drains of the moss growing inside, he responded in the affirmative and noted that they were contracting workers to clean.

One resident had said that the rapid growth of the moss in the trenches and canal is as a result of the fertilisers used by farmers.

Bipath had previously said that the current section of canal that is inundated would be the last to receive relief since it is at the lower lying end of the community.

In addition, the NDC Chairman told Stabroek News some farms and residential areas in Canal Number Two are also affected as a result of recent rainfall. However, he was quick to point out that the flooding in that community occurred over the old year’s weekend and they have put systems in place and the water is receding from the land faster than in Canal Number One.

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