Edghill engages contractor on delayed sea defence works at Riverview

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Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill has flagged contractor RI International General Contracting Services for incomplete works along the earthen embankment at Riverview, Ruimveldt.

While inspecting the site recently, the Minister said this is not the time for excuses or complaints, but to mitigate the risk of flooding.

“People want to ensure that there are deliverables and the assurance that we are giving is, I have just spoken with the contractor who is delayed and behind his schedule and he got to [get] this completed.

We want to assure the nation that despite of the challenges that we face, the Sea and River Defence Department and the Force Account Unit of the Ministry of Public Works, we are rising to the challenge and we could put people’s fears to rest – everything is being done in a proactive manner,” he said.

Minister Edghill said the inspection at Ruimveldt is part of a wider assessment of river defences across the country amid the ongoing spring tides.

However, he said he was disappointed that river defence works slated to be completed in 2019 are behind schedule.

“My understanding is that this entire section here [along the river bank] is to be built, so that when the water comes in and it gets to the koker door, it doesn’t overtop.

This is not something that necessarily we should have been involved in. This is something that the City Council should have been involved in,” he added.

Minister Edghill said the Government remains resolute that contracts should be executed fully or other contractors would be hired to do the work.

Further, the Minister said that though some persons have relocated from the area, several households are still occupying sections of the earthen embankment where the Demerara River meets Riverview.

Meanwhile, in other areas, most notably at Little Diamond, East Bank Demerara, Minister Edghill said impoldering of the earthen embankment is being done to offset flooding.

On Monday, Prime Minister Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips assessed flooding at Little Diamond alongside the Civil Defence Commission.

That exercise also saw the CDC distribute cleaning supplies and food hampers to affected residents.

The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority is constructing a new sluice in the community to alleviate the flooding caused by a collapsed sluice door.