Infrastructure ministry going to tender for emergency repairs of West Dem sea defence

The Ministry of Public Infrastructure will soon move to tender for emergency repairs to the West Coast sea defence, even as an assessment of the infrastructure in the affected areas is being conducted.

Earlier this month, overtopping of the seawall due to the spring tides caused significant damage in the West Coast villages of Stewartville, Leonora and Uitvlugt, affecting not only private property, but also causing damage to the sea defence.

Minister David Patterson said yesterday that the intended repair works will address damage to 550 meters of rip rap along the coast as well as facilitate repairs to at least seven sluice transitions.

Patterson expressed hopes that the repairs will be completed by September.

In the meantime, the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) of the affected areas have been tasked with consulting with residents on the intended strategy, information that will contribute to the ministry’s drainage, road and sea defence assessment.

Stewartville/Cornelia Ida NDC Chairman Jainarine Narine stated that the council would be meeting with residents of Anna Catherina and Seaview before Sunday to discuss the installation of culverts and bridges.

Chairman of the Tuschen/Uitvlugt NDC Vishal Ambedkar told Stabroek News via telephone interview yesterday that the Uitvlugt meeting, initially scheduled for this week, has been pushed to next week.

Ambedkar related that next week’s meeting will give the NDC the opportunity to discuss the technical aspects of the works with residents. Asked how residents may be affected, the Chairman noted that it is likely that those situated on the reserves will have to be relocated permanently.

Additionally, Ambedkar related that the NDC had submitted an assessment of the damage to Minister of State Joseph Harmon as well as to the Regional Democratic Council, but added that the NDC was informed that the state would be conducting an independent assessment.

Earlier this month, Minister Harmon pledged Central Government’s support to the villages on the West Demerara Coast that were affected by the heavy flooding.

The Minister was at the time visiting the villages of Leonora, Meten-Meer-Zorg and Uitvlugt, where he met with the Chairman and Councillors of the NDCs and residents, and assured them that the government will provide all the resources at its disposal to ensure that normalcy is restored to the communities after the recent flooding, according to a press release from the Ministry of the Presidency.

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