Data delays stall dam breach report
Guyana Chronicle
February 6, 2002

FIELD work data delays have stalled the final report on last November's East Demerara Conservancy Dam breach.

Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon said the field work has been completed but there were delays in the presentation of the data.

The investigating team has, in its standard and modified terms of reference, continued to comment on the poor state of the dam, Luncheon told reporters this week.

He said areas of concern have been identified and as a consequence, Cabinet has authorised the commencement of design work prior to definitive remedial action.

Luncheon told a news conference at the Office of the President on Monday that Cabinet also authorised quick action to arrest the deterioration of critical areas identified by staff monitoring the state of the dam.

The team appointed to investigate the breach submitted a preliminary report at the end of last year and it has since been reviewed by relevant heads of Government agencies.

It had identified design work as a major issue in the breach and generally on the dam itself.

"Their recommendations seek to put in place a principled approach for remedial work to be done on the dam - that there should first be design work done/completed and on that basis, for the remedial works to be done after," Luncheon told reporters.

"That is what the investigative team is proposing and that is the view that Cabinet endorsed - that there must be design work done and completed based on which remedial work will then take place," he said.

The dam was breached during the early hours of November 3, last year, affecting some 400 Cane Grove residents and during one of his many visits to the affected community, President Bharrat Jagdeo named a team to investigate the cause.

The members of the team are Director of Agriculture Services of the Guyana Sugar Corporation, Harold Davis Jr. (chairman); Chief River and Sea Defence Officer, George Howard; Director of Caribbean Engineering and Management Consultants, Raymond Latchmansingh; Paul Saran of the Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary Agriculture Development Authority; and Colonel John Lewis of the Guyana Defence Force.