The Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) is reporting that the Lamaha Street and River View pumps are down. This was discovered by a team, which had been dispatched to conduct on-the-ground assessments earlier today.
According to a release from MPI, subject Minister David Patterson has just met with City Engineer of Georgetown, Colvern Venture to determine what actions can be taken to minimise the adverse effects of the flooding.
In addition to the flooding in the Georgetown area, villages on the East Bank Demerara, West Coast Demerara, Essequibo Coast and Mahaica/Berbice are also under flood waters.
So far Chairman’s of Region 5 and 2 Vickchand Ramphal and Daveanand Ramdatt were out visiting residents of their Region’s affected by flooding.
Blame it on the ‘concrete’
Meanwhile the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) is appealing to home-owners to re-think the amount of spaces they concrete in their yards as this is “preventing storm water from going to the lower aquifer thereby aggravating the (flooding) situation in local areas.”
M&CC Town Clerk Royston King, in a release earlier today, called on the citizens of Georgetown to ensure that their “drains, canals and waterways are free from garbage and other things that could restrict their capacity to hold storm water and reduce the flow through (the) channels’ outfall.”
“Over the last two weeks, the City Engineer Department has been reviewing the city’s drainage system and drains in local communities. The Department has been working closely with the Ministries of Infrastructure and Agriculture to ensure the integrity of our drainage system” said King.
According to King, last year, council expended more than $500M in drainage works. However, thus far in 2016, the Treasurers Department has expended over $155M in same.
“This overtopping is due to the coincidence of heavy rains over the last 24hrs (almost 3 inches in a 6 hour period) and high tides. The city is 4ft below the normal high tide and an additional 2ft at spring tide. It depends on a system of sluices and pumps for drainage,” King stated.
Moreover, it was highlighted that there are five hydro flow pumps along the Demerara River, but only three are operable while the other two are under repairs.
There are “twelve sluices, which are opened during low tides to facilitate outflow of storm water. Also, there are four (4) electrically operated pumps which discharge into the Atlantic Ocean,” King explained.
However, observers have since decried that with all the mechanisms and plans touted by both the M&CC and Central Government, it was expected that ‘catastrophic floods’ such as the one seen today would be averted.
Opposition Chief Whip, Gail Teixeria, has since spoken to the media on the flooding and pronounced that despite government’s claim of works in drainage and irrigation, during the Budget debates of 2017, it is evident that not enough was done.