By Leroy Smith
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The government is looking to immediately establish a multi – agency task force inclusive of civil society to examine the drainage system of Georgetown and its restoration.
This proposal will be formally made to cabinet in the coming days by Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson who made the announcement during a press conference on Sunday evening as he addressed the issue of flooding in several parts of the country, due to persistent rainfall.
Minister Patterson noted that there are some six different agencies which are responsible for draining in the country and in most cases these agencies have been very territorial, much to the detriment of Guyana.
The flooding was largely due to inoperable pumps, clogged canals and sluices which needed desilting, according to Minister Patterson. He explained that a large part of the coast primarily Georgetown experienced five inches of water within four to five hours of rainfall.
On Sunday, Minister Patterson, Agriculture Minister Noel Holder and Mayor Hamilton Green among others visited several flood affected areas, where some on the spot decisions were immediately made to bring relief.
The visit also saw that out of a total of thirteen sluices in Georgetown only two were functioning at the time of the visit. Asked why only two pumps were working, the Minister explained that he was advised that due to issues of vandalism, the battery of a pump at Sussex Street had to be removed and the other three pumps had mechanical issues.
Once that funding is available, then the Ministry along with other agencies would be clearing clogged canals, desilting outfalls, and fixing the pumps which are nonfunctional.