[www.inewsguyana.com] – Government’s increased investments in boosting the country’s drainage capacity, through better kept drains and increased pumping capacity have resulted in water draining at a faster rate.
This was evident, during the recent record rainfall that resulted in large swathes of the capital, Georgetown, lower East Bank Demerara, West Bank Demerara, Essequibo Coast, and villages in Region Four being flooded.
However, unlike previous occasions, the City and affected areas quickly drained, some in less than two days.
Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy pointed out that in the past, anything above 150mm of rain on the upper East Coast of Demerara that was experienced in a 24- hour period would have led to almost two weeks of flooding.
Certainly in agriculture lands that water would have taken about two weeks to recede, whilst it would have taken a week to a week-and-a-half for residential yards to drain.
“This time within less than a week, we were able to move all the water,” the Minister pointed out.
When a team from the Ministry visited the community of Hope on the East Coast, all the water had receded.
Then there was Canal Number One and Two Polders, where small amounts of rainfall in the past led to substantial flooding. During the November 20 rainfall, both Polders had some flood, but it was not sustained.
The approximately 190mm of rainfall that was recorded in Georgetown on November 20, would have lasted more than a week, but “given an improved infrastructure and because of the clean-up campaign, that 190mm of rain did not cause a major of flood as it could have caused,” Minister Ramsammy pointed out.
The Agriculture Minister credited this to a number of factors including the ministry’s effort at keeping the main drainage canal in an improved condition, thereby allowing for better movement of the water to the sea.
Minister Ramsammy noted that the ministry has been regularly cleaning both primary (main) and secondary canals (the community drains) and has been focused on maintaining the various outfalls across the country, which are always in constant need of desilting.
Meanwhile, the Minister also noted some of the factors for the city and villages along the coast resulting in flood like situation whenever it rains. “People are building concrete bridges, and concrete pavements that do not cater for cleaning of the drains…all the drains are taken over by concrete bridges and pavement by manholes…”
“When last they opened a manhole and cleaned the drains?” the Minister asked. He added that “once you build those structures, your responsibility is to clean them.”
Minister Ramsammy said that the city needs to put systems in place like more developed countries that if the person whose responsibility it is to have these manholes cleaned and has not done so, then the city does it and bills that person. [Extracted and modified from GINA]