The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) will be partnering with the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) to rehabilitate the city’s primary drainage system, a release yesterday from the Ministry of Agriculture said.
It was stated that the drainage works, which include manual cleaning operations totaling $71,934,120, and mechanical cleaning operations totaling $91,652,572, are on schedule to commence within the next two weeks, and are expected to increase the city’s drainage capacity and significantly reduce flooding throughout the city.
“In 2019, NDIA will be responsible for 93,421 meters of main drainage canals in Georgetown, including the Downer/ Liliendaal Pump Station Drain, South Road, Ruimveldt North & South among others. An allocation of $274 million will be spent on Georgetown drainage for 2019,” Agriculture Minister Noel Holder said.
In addition to rehabilitating drainage channels in Georgetown, the release said that three high capacity mobile drainage pumps will be installed at Church Street, Sussex Street and at Ruimveldt, to reduce the occurrence of flooding. Also, NDIA will continue to execute maintenance works on other pumps in the capital city, including the seven mobile pumps and two fixed drainage pumps at Kitty and Liliendaal.
NDIA’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Dave Hicks, also stated in the release that the authority will be using their equipment to rehabilitate the La Penitence South channel, a 5,600 metres long waterway. “These works will be broken up into eight sections since the pontoon has to be demobilized and re-launched around bridges, main access roads and intersections,” he said.
Hicks, however, noted that although major drainage works are set to commence shortly, in areas such as La Penitence, they are being obstructed by squatting activities.
“The NDIA was able to fabricate a mud bin on the pontoon and mount an excavator to carry out excavation works on the La Penitence South drainage channel. The channel runs from the eastern extreme of the Lamaha Springs area to the westerly extreme draining into the Demerara River via a double door sluice north of Ruimveldt Police Station. A pontoon was launched with an excavator into the channel in the vicinity of Mandela Avenue and the machine is working westerly towards the pedestrian bridge near the Brickdam Secondary School. To date, 260m of this 380m stretch of channel has been excavated,” Hicks said.
The release noted that areas drained by this channel include Lamaha Springs, Lamaha Park, Guyhoc Park, Tucville, Freeman Street, East La Penitence, Middle Road, Laing Avenue and Albouystown.
The decision to have NDIA commence drainage works in Georgetown followed the recommendations of a Cabinet Sub-committee meeting which was chaired by the Agriculture Minister and also included the Ministers of Public Infrastructure and Communities, the release said.
It was further reported, that yesterday, the NDIA disclosed that contracts were approved for a series of mechanical and manual cleaning operations to be conducted on the city’s drainage channels.