Swollen rivers affecting hinterland communities
Guyana Chronicle
June 4, 2004

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GINA - In its May 31 report, the Committee mandated by Cabinet to monitor the impact of the heavy rains has indicated that heavy rainfall continued along the coast with consequential flooding in a few housing areas, mostly in Regions Three (West Demerara/Essequibo Islands) and Four (Demerara/Mahaica) and in hinterland communities.

Speaking at his weekly post-Cabinet media briefing Tuesday, Head of the Presidential Secretariat and Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon said, "In the hinterland areas, the rivers are all flooding their banks and communities continue to be affected in Regions Seven and Eight."

Transportation is affected by flooding in Region Nine (Upper Takutu/Upper Essequibo).

According to Dr. Luncheon, also in Regions Three and Four, desilting of outfall channels and cleaning of obstructed canals in drainage systems are being concluded, which has aided in reducing flooding.

In its report, the Committee pointed out that in Region Five (Mahaica/Berbice), surface rainfall has exceeded design capacity of the drainage system in a few areas and this has also resulted in flooding.

Meanwhile, in Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne), the low-lying areas, particularly Fyrish/Gibralter and Black Bush Polder, have been assisted with mechanical drainage and clearing of outfall channels, which has led to the floodwaters receding.

Dr. Luncheon said that the three main conservancies, the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC), the Mahaica, Mahaicony, Abary/Abary Development Association (MMA/ADA) and the Boeraserie Conservancy have all been functioning without problems.

Early May, Cabinet mandated a Committee to conduct a daily assessment of the flood situation and devise quick responses where necessary.

Minister of Agriculture (ag) Satyadeow Sawh leads the team of officials to make daily assessments of the flood situation in the Administrative Regions.

A weekly report of the situation in each Region is being circulated by the Regional Administration, which is working in collaboration with the Police Divisional authorities and the Drainage and Irrigation Unit. These weekly reports are also submitted to Cabinet.

Meanwhile, the Committee continues to monitor the situation closely, Dr. Luncheon said.

Officials of the Hydro-meteorological Department of the Ministry of Agriculture have also been asked to inform residents of predicted weather patterns so that measures could be taken to reduce the likelihood of flooding.

Government had allocated $400M for drainage and irrigation works this year. Some of this money is expected to be spent to bring immediate relief to the affected areas.