Sea defence works at Mahaica 80% complete – Works Ministry

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[www.inewsguyana.com] – The undermining sea defence works that are currently underway at Mosquito Hall/Lancaster, Mahaica is 80 percent completed with staff from the Ministry’s Force Account Unit is scheduled to seal the remaining section by late Wednesday afternoon (January 8).

Meanwhile, the contractor – M&B Construction – hired to rehabilitate a section of the earthen embankment and slope has begun stockpiling materials [rocks and clay] to begin capping the undermined area. It is expected that within another two weeks work inthat area will be completed.

unnamed (2)As was reported previously, two major contracts involving the rehabilitation of concrete river defences at Mosquito Hall/Lancaster were executed during the period 2011 to 2012. These works addressed problematic sections of sea defences which were undermined and frequently overtopped during spring tides.

In addition to concrete works, a total of 700m of eroded earthen embankment was rehabilitated and adjacent façade drains constructed for the storage and conveyance of overtopping discharge in order to reinforce the flood defence system.

The Ministry notes that major reconstruction works have also been scheduled for Mosquito Hall/Lancaster under its 2014 Capital Programme for certain critical sections. Designs are currently being finalised for projects involving the reconstruction of river defences in the area which will be advertised for public tendering during January 2014.

Furthermore, the Mahaica area was recently included in a list of vulnerable coastal/ riverian communities specifically mentioned in the Ministry’s monthly spring tide advisory published in the local print media.

During a visit to the area on Monday (December 6) residents expressed fear of a possible massive flood destroying their livelihood, in wake of the present breaches of the sea defense (seawall) in the area.

Several large holes and cracks were visible in the seawall at the time of the visit. Residents also alerted the media to the destruction the breaches which were identified a few days ago have caused. Severe erosion of the land nearby could also be seen.

One resident told iNews that the situation is so worrisome that she is kept awake at nights in fear that the structure could break further, which will result in flooding.

“I can’t sleep at nights, right now I have a bottle of vigorex that I’m drinking to sleep and that isn’t even helping. I’m afraid and the government needs to do something,” the woman lamented.

According to A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Member of Parliament and shadow Works Minister, Joseph Harmon the current situation further adumbrates the point made during the National 2013 Budget debate that monies allocated for works of critical sea defense ($143.3M) is wholly inadequate.

The APNU MP, who was present at the time of the visit said “citizens cannot be comfortable with that form of allocation and this is why we said that the funds were insufficient.”

 

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