Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha is again calling on the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) to implement better mechanisms to properly manage flooding in the capital city.
The Minister made this appeal on Wednesday, after visiting several pump stations and sluices across in Georgetown. He made checks at the Ruimveldt, Riverview, La Penitence South, Sussex Street and Cowan Street, Kingston drainage sites.
“Last night, when our engineers were checking to see those pumps and sluices that are operable, what they found was that the Ruimveldt sluice was not operating because the operator was not there.”
Minister Mustapha said while his Ministry is doing its best to ensure the pumps are functioning well, the municipality must also honour its responsibility, especially since a callous approach could affect the people.
“There was no one from the City Council to check to see if the operators are operating these pumps or sluices…I spoke to the Town Clerk this morning and I told her that they have to have a mechanism to check on these pumps and sluices. We are not getting the cooperation from the City Council,” he said.
The Minister explained that there were several cases where pumps stations were inoperable and unattended. He also said attempts to contact the mayor about the matter proved futile.
Meanwhile, only two weeks ago President Dr. Irfaan Ali visited several pump stations and discovered that most of the attendants had neglected their stations.
“I have asked both the CEO and the Chairman of NDIA to launch an investigation to find out what’s the issue; why are we having these kinds of problems. I want to urge the City Council, let us don’t play politics with the lives of people in the city,” Minister Mustapha said.
He said engineers from National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) will be assigned to properly monitor the pumps, noting that the three pumps which are inoperable will be functioning by this afternoon. NDIA’s Chairman, Mr. Lionel Wordsworth and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Fredrick Flatts accompanied the Minster during the checks.