By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Heavy rain during last night and this morning has caused severe flooding in Georgetown, along the East Bank and East Coast of Demerara and other outlining regions; forcing the Ministry of Education to close public schools in the city and in regions Two and Three for today.
But the administration, particularly the Ministry of Agriculture, has come in for severe criticism since, like on previous occasions where heavy downpour caused widespread flooding; there was no warning from the Hydrometeorological department.
Citizens also berated the $1B clean up my country initiative, of which $500,000 is to be utilized on the City; saying that despite the massive clean-up of city drains and other infrastructure in the last two months, there are now made to count their losses resulting from deep flooding compounded with significant garbage pile up.
She advised that the pumps and kokers around the city was working and that Georgetown will see a reduction in water as the day progresses even as she cautioned against an expected high tide at 14:00 hours today.
She observed that several areas that would not usually flood during the rainy season and others that benefited from the cleanup initiative were surprisingly flooded this morning.
Chase Green says this development has now caused her to question the effectiveness of the cleanup initiative.
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader David Granger, who led a team of APNU members to affected communities to meet residents, says this development points to the failure of at least four ministries.
“Firstly, the Ministry of Agriculture did not warn the citizens that we were expected such extreme weather… secondly the Ministry of Local Government; if we had a strong local government system some of these problems could have been averted… and the third one is the Ministry of Public Works; we don’t have the same drainage systems like years ago and we have to make sure that mechanical pumps work… and the fourth Ministry is of course is the Ministry responsible for the environment. We want to know what measures are being put in place to protect ordinary citizens,” Granger said.
The APNU believes this flooding is a clear indication of an environmental catastrophe and calls on President Donald Ramotar, Minister of Local Government, Norman Whitaker; Minister of Public Infrastructure, Roberson Benn and the Minister Responsible for the Environment, Robert Persaud to immediately take action to alleviate this “catastrophe.”
“We call for a national flood control strategy and this has not happen and I wish the government would speak to that,” Granger said as he reiterated that he will not engage the administration in dialogue.
Meanwhile, Shadow Local Government Minister Joseph Harmon criticized the cleanup initiative which he said has failed to help in the face of this current environmental disaster.
“That was never really an initiative that really impacted on what is happening here, that was a slush fund to give money to small communities so that the people will say the PPP cares, but it is not that the PPP care, is about how they share and who they share the money to,” he added.
Harmon called on citizens to apply pressure on the administration so that they will know that citizens are not prepared to continue to accept this level of maladministration.