Sea defence repairs to be done before next spring tide
- Xavier
Stabroek News
March 5, 2002

Related Links: Articles on Floods
Letters Menu Archival Menu

Additional resources are to be allocated to effect repairs to critical areas of the country's shoreline which suffered damage during the recent excessive high tides.

This decision, according to a release from Split Image, was taken during a recent visit to Regions Five (Mahaica/West Berbice) and Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne) by Minister of Transport and Hydraulics, Anthony Xavier to inspect remedial work currently being undertaken.

According to the release, the minister was accompanied by Permanent Secretary, Kenneth Jordan, and the ministry's Technical Adviser, Walter Willis. Xavier decided that an additional contractor would be employed to assist the Sea Defence Unit to complete works at a breach at Bushlot, Corentyne before the next big spring tide due by month-end. He said, too, there was need for additional sheet piling apart from the use of >sandcrete= bags to give greater security to the area.

At the Wellington Park area the team viewed the damage to the sand reef resulting from the force of the high tides and a dam is to be built immediately to prevent water from rushing inland, the release said. A sluice at Number 78 village which was damaged by the high tides is also to be repaired urgently.

The minister and his team were satisfied with the pace and level of ongoing work on the breach at Profit/Foulis in Region Five. Xavier noted that the work was executed quickly enough to prevent flooding. The area has been strengthened with an earthen dam and work is ongoing to put a boulder slope in place, the release said.

According to the release, the minister noted that the excessive high tide had caused overtopping in several areas and in some cases minor breaches, but the Sea Defence Emergency Works Unit will be working around the clock to ensure that repairs are done in the shortest possible time.

Xavier yesterday morning inspected erosion at Phoenix and Henrietta on the island of Leguan. He said that those two areas were the hardest hit in the Essequibo region and he was pleased that initial reports about massive damage were exaggerated. Accompanying him yesterday were Head of the Emergency Works team, Mahadeo Persaud, Chief Sea and River Defence Officer, George Howard, Willis, Jordan, Chairman of Region Three, E. Dookie and other regional officials, the release said.

During the inspection, the team identified several other areas in which work had to be done to ensure the integrity of the existing sea defence structures.

Xavier also inspected the walls and natural defences around the islands of Leguan and Wakenaam and urged the Sea Defence Unit to speed up its work, since all repairs and reinforcements must be completed before the next heavy spring tide due in about 24 days, the release said.

The country's coastline was battered last week by excessively high tides and several areas reported flooding due to overtopping. There were also areas where the sea breached the sea defences and eroded the natural barriers, the release added. The flooding was caused by tides ten to 11 feet high and the additional pull caused by the closeness of the moon. The high tides are due to return to Guyana's coast by March 28.