Stabroek News

Golden Fleece spared flooding after tide destroys koker door

The koker at Golden Fleece, Essequibo Coast, which received a temporary fix on Monday night

A spring tide destroyed a koker door at Golden Fleece, Essequibo Coast on Monday, but residents did not experience any major flooding and a temporary fix was put in place.

After receiving news of one of the koker doors breaking due to pressure from the high tide, residents of the community and the surrounding environs braced themselves for a flood but were relieved when the water did not cause any serious damage to their homes or farmlands.

Sometime around 4 pm, the door gave away from the constant pressure of the tide. They also noted that at the time the height of the water was around 12 feet, while the koker’s door reaches a height of just over 14 feet.

The damaged Onderneeming Koker door

“We close down here around 11.45 [am on Monday] and about 4 [pm] in the afternoon I get a call saying that the koker door break and when we come the spring tide went up and the water de deh very, very high over there,” Sudesh Deolall, one of the sluice attendants, told Stabroek News.

When this newspaper visited the area yesterday afternoon, a log was already positioned to block the water from coming through the sluice opening. A new door is to be constructed and affixed.

Deolall further explained that when he arrived at the koker, the water was already gushing uncontrollably through the opening and all they could have done was watch on helplessly and hope that things did not take a turn for the worse.

“It wasn’t coming over the door but the pressure from the water, because the water in the trench was very low, the pressure coming from outside from the sea side was high and like the door couldn’t hold and it just break away and then we couldn’t do anything,” a resident, who identified himself only as Narine, explained.

However, even though the water was allowed to pass freely for more than four hours, “some residents only had a little water on their rice farms” and this they credited to the extremely dry weather in recent weeks.

“Nobody really get any serious damage, just some rice field get lil’ water that run in but nothing serious and it surprising because when them big boys [National Drainage and Irrigation Authority] came, they couldn’t do anything and they had to be just like we and wait till the tide go down. So is till after nine they start do work on it because the water de then now start dropping off,” Narine explained.

Another resident also pointed out that it wasn’t the first time one of the koker doors has given way to the incoming tide. He said this instance is the fourth such one that he can remember within the last four years.

While the other incidents did not lead to any flooding in the community or the surrounding environs, the man explained that some of the residents are afraid that there might be a day when they will be left to the mercy of the sea due to the doors breaking away.

As a result, he said the authorities should ensure that the requisite check-ups are done to ascertain the condition of the sluices along the Essequibo Coast, and around the country, a review that he said is not currently done.

“People have to come and inspect these things and ensure that they are using proper wood to make the doors and make sure the doors them perfect but nobody don’t come and do that. When they done build people does only come and check to see if the koker men doing their job but people don’t even come and check if the contractor use the right wood,” the man explained, while arguing that there should be a strict routine to repair the koker doors and “they shouldn’t just come and fix it when it bruk up.”

The men pointed out another koker in Onderneeming, a few villages away from Golden Fleece, where the one of the doors is broken.

“This door mus ’e deh for like two years and two board done gone from it and is like it got to break for it to get a new one. Any hard breeze blow and it done, you know. Is just because them bricks and trees deh around, that’s why it don’t feel the pressure but it gon’ happen if they don’t fix it,” one of the attendants present related.