Profit residents want seawall fixed By Nigel Williams
Stabroek News
July 5, 2003

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Residents of Plantation Profit, West Coast Berbice are urging the government to fix a large section of the seawall, which has crumbled, resulting in many areas being flooded.

In response, Public Relations Consultant within the Ministry of Public Works, Ajay Baksh yesterday said efforts are being made at the government level to secure funding to rebuild the wall and workers of the Guyana Sea Defence department were monitoring the situation.

About 50 metres of one section of the seawall, which was built with earth and boulders, collapsed some time ago and a large portion of farmland just over the wall has been flooded. Another section east of that breach has begun crumbling too. Residents on Thursday told Stabroek News that all they have been receiving were empty promises from the government. They said the breach had put many of them out of work, noting that they were forced to abandon their farms.

According to a Regional Councillor of Region Five, Ray Noble, residents in the area were asking for a seawall made of concrete and sand instead of the earthen dam. He noted that as a result of the flood a large watermelon farm had been closed down.

Noble said the breach first appeared in 2001 and since then it had widened. According to him, despite the situation they had received no assistance from the government to compensate for the damage done to their crops. He warned that if the breach was not filled, all the other villages on the West Coast could be flooded soon. He added that in Plantation Profit there was no proper outlet for the excess water.

He observed that whenever the breach widened, the Guyana Sea Defence unit would place a few boulders on the section. During a visit to the area, Stabroek News saw workers from the Mahaica, Mahaicony, Abary-Agricultural Development Authority (MMA-ADA) fixing a section at Belladrum to prevent the excess water from getting into the rice farming areas.

Meanwhile, Camille Long a farmer in Profit said she had been losing her livestock because of the breach. According to Long, she has been planting a few tomato plants and bora but has not been able to do business on a large scale. She said she was now looking at the copra business but because of the flood she had nowhere to dry her copra. During a visit to the area on Thursday, PNCR leader, Robert Corbin promised the residents he would take up the matter with the government.