Minister Sawh visits areas affected by heavy rainfalls
Guyana Chronicle
January 3, 2004

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GINA - The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Other Crops and Livestock, Mr. Satyadeow Sawh visited several areas on the East Coast of Demerara Tuesday to assess the impact of the recent heavy rainfall.

The Minister's visit followed a request by President Bharrat Jagdeo after residents complained of flooding in some areas.

Minister Sawh and a team of officials from the National Drainage and Irrigation Board (ND&IB) visited Strathavon, Unity Hope, and Enmore.

At Strathavon, the Minister visited the pumping stations where two electrical pumps are in operation. The pumps together are capable of draining 100,000 gallons of water per minute.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the ND&IB, Mr. Ravi Narine stated that as long as the weather holds for a while, the pumps will be able to relieve the area, since both pumps have been working for the past 24 hours and the amount of water inland has lessened significantly. He noted that he will have to ensure that the pump station is adequately supplied with electricity.

Pump attendant Mohamed Deen said the pump is draining the entire Cane Grove area and another working pump is upstream.

Minister Sawh met farmers at Unity where he listened to grievances including the non-functioning of the sluice attendant in the area. The Minister mandated the regional representative to ensure that the situation is remedied immediately. The residents expressed satisfaction with the Minster's visit.

At Hope, the Minister visited the pump station, which is presently working. The koker doors were closed at the time, since the tide was high. General Manager of the Hope Estate, Terry Singh, explained that the pumps are in operation and are effective, since the water has been receding.

Through the ND& IB some desilting work was done recently, and the pumps are presently assisting with the clearing of the channel. The pump station is the only one in the area and is fully operational.

The pump station at Enmore is also working and the water there has receded. Residents in the area explained that the flooding was due to heavy rainfall yesterday morning. They stated that the water covered the roads in the area yesterday but today the water has receded significantly.

Many residents praised Government, saying that in the past the water has never receded so quickly. They said it was normal to have flooding during the rainy seasons but never before has the water been pumped out of the area so rapidly.

Residents also complained that the water from the backdam has overflowed into their canals, which, coupled with the heavy rainfall, resulted in the flooding. They stated that they have blocked the area several times but someone keeps removing the materials.

Mr. Narine has undertaken to speak with Guyana Sugar Corporation (Guysuco) to rectify the situation.

Minister Sawh expressed satisfaction with the pace of work in the area. He noted that his visit was aimed at assessing the situation and finding immediate solutions to the problems.

Mr. Narine said that the other Regions were not affected, since information gathered shows that Region Six (East Berbice/ Corentyne) farmers have been requesting water to irrigate their farmlands.

In Regions Two (Pomeroon/ Supenaam), Three (Essequibo Islands/ West Demerara) and Five (Mahaica/ Berbice) there has not been much rainfall.