National drainage system coping - committee reports
Stabroek News
May 8, 2004

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The national drainage system is coping with the heavy seasonal rainfall, despite some amount of flooding in areas in Regions Three, Four and Six, the National Committee on Flood Control reported yesterday.

Acting Minister of Agriculture, Satyadeow Sawh met the committee yesterday prior to hosting a press conference where reports were revealed.

Chief Executive Officer of the National Drainage and Irrigation Board Ravi Narine noted that the national drainage system has a capacity of 1 to 1.5 inches of rainfall, which, when exceeded burdens the drainage system resulting in flooding. Narine said all pumps and sluices in the system were in working condition.

In his report, he said that certain areas in Region Three such as Windsor Forest and Vreed-en-Hoop among others were hit by high water in the agricultural areas. In Region Four there has been some flooding on the lower East Coast extending from Montrose to Buxton and Hope to Ann's Grove.

Black Bush Polder, Wellington Park and Letter Kenny are some areas in Region Six that have been hit by flooding, which is affecting farmers. But reports are that the water has begun to recede and plans are in progress to have the outfalls cleaned.

Head of the Hydromet-eorological Department Dilip Jaigopaul said there was a probability of the high estimated rainfall continuing.

Chairman of the Boerasirie Commission Zalil Gafur said the Boerasirie Creek was at a critical level of 61.8 on Sunday. He said that if rainfall continues at one inch per day they can cope but at present rainfall levels were at 1.3 inches per day.

Meanwhile, Guysuco's Agricultural Operations Director Babish Ramkeerat said Guysuco is adequately prepared for the rainy weather with all its pumps working and two more likely to come on line soon.

Deputy Mayor Robert Williams, reporting on Georgetown, said all areas, but Kitty, had been drained. The Deputy Mayor said obstacles in the waterways were obstructing the operation of the pump at Liliendaal. Only one of the two Liliendaal pumps is working. The defective one has been out of service since last year and the city council has been unable to come up with the required funds for the repair. So far, Central Government has not stepped in to help.

Minister of Local Govern-ment and Regional Develop-ment Harripersaud Nokta said the Regional Democratic Councils have been given the responsibility to monitor rainfall and report to the Permanent Secretary. The Neighbourhood Democratic Councils have also been asked to ensure the internal drains and trenches in their respective areas are cleaned.

Cabinet has mandated Sawh to monitor the rainfall and national flood situation daily and submit weekly reports to Cabinet. A sub-committee has been set up to do this and Sawh said yesterday that a flood disaster team would also meet everyday to provide a coordinated response to floods.