President visits flooded East Coast, says...
Key is getting water off the land By Shirwin Campbell
Guyana Chronicle
January 5, 2004

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President Bharrat Jagdeo is satisfied with the progress being made along the East Cost corridor to ease the flooding being experienced by residents.

The President accompanied by a team of officials braved torrents of rain and slushed through mud with the media in hot pursuit to observe the level of flooding and the performance of the water pumps.

President Jagdeo in an invited comment during the tour noted that had it not been for the pumps the situation would have been considerably worse and the water has subsided significantly, from the flooding experienced the previous day.

The President added that the issue of flooding during the wet season is a tradition and given the fact that Guyana is below sea level adds to the factors responsible for flooding.

President Jagdeo informed the media that he is pleased that the Government took an early initiative and the key is getting the water off the land.

Government will do as much as possible to ease the flooding, he promised.

President noted that it is well known from his boyhood days that during the rainy season, flooding takes place since the storage capacity cannot hold the excess water.

He expressed the hope that the rainy season does not last too long.

As news of the President's presence got around in Enmore Village, several residents came out to meet the President and express their views on the flooding.

Some of the residents noted that the pumps working round the clock are very helpful and while the water is still present it is no longer in their houses and yards.

The residents were also concerned about the excessive rainfall compounded with the current high tides being experienced.

Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Crops and Livestock Satyadeow Sawh who was part of the President's team touring the East Coast stated that all the pumps are working round the clock along with Guysuco's pumps to ease the flooding.

He also announced that a pump at Montrose started working yesterday morning and is providing a major boost to efforts to remove the excess water.

He said that he is happy with this development but also noted that there are still lots of rainfall envisaged before the wet season is over.

At a recent press conference Meteorological Officer Dilip Jaigopaul stated that Regions Two, Four, Five and Six recorded above normal rainfall ranging from five to 30 per cent.

He predicted that the next two weeks is likely to be wetter than the rest of the month.

"We have a very high probability in the Regions that are going to be wet, that the rainfall is going to be six or seven per cent to 133 per cent above normal. We are of the view that there will be high intensity rainfall for a day or two with thunderstorms," Mr. Jaigopaul was quoted as saying.

At that press conference Chief Executive Officer Mr. Ravi Narine had pointed out that spring tides are being experienced, so the additional hours of drainage through sluices are curtailed.

Mr. Narine, who also accompanied the President yesterday explained that the pumps work twenty four hours round the clock but must be stopped at least once each day to facilitate the required servicing and checks.

He added that the pump at Enmore pumps some 60 cubic feet of water per second and he gave the assurance that the pumps will keep running.

Mr. Ravi Narine explained that in Region four some twelve pumps are working round the clock and supplemented by mobile pumps and Guysuco's pumps.

Work was to commence 20 days from July 25, when the contract for the project was signed, and contracted for 12 months - eight months for construction and four months to address defects and liabilities. The construction is now in its sixth month.