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Drainage plan shapes up as heavy rainfall looms

Flash back: A section of flooded commercial Georgetown

Guyana is gearing up to beat back expected flooding that may accompany expected heavy rains during the Christmas season.

“I would want to think that should we have above normal rainfall in the upcoming rainy season that we should be a very good position to response to any threat of flooding,” Agriculture Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy was quoted as saying by the Government Information Agency (GINA).

He cautioned that flash flooding was forecast particularly if there are 30 to 50 millimeters of rain in a 24- hour period. “The structure may not be enough to remove all the water quickly, particularly depending on tide levels,” he added.

The Agriculture Minister said the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) would soon deploy officers to ensure that drainage pumps are stocked with sufficient fuel. The team, he said, would be part of a programme of active surveillance by specially appointed officers to monitor D&I structures, and equipment and machinery.
He explained that one of the officers would be responsible for being in constant contact with all the Regional Democratic Councils and pump station operators to ensure that have enough lubricants and 48 hours of fuel at all times.

The Ministry has also appointed officers to exclusively monitor all the ministry’s excavators and bulldozers. The officers’ duties are to ensure there is an adequate amount of fuel and lubricant for the machines, and that they are repaired in a timely manner.  “They are going to ensure that they are daily checking these things, because in the past we would discover that excavators and bulldozers have been sitting for several days because of a part missing or because of supplies,” Minister Ramsammy said. A designated officer will now maintain daily contacts with regional officials to garner reports on the conditions of the secondary and tertiary drains that fall under the local officers’ charge.

The NDIA also plans to speed up outfall dredging in Regions 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, and as well ensuring that all pumps are ready for continuous operation. Authorities said most pumps were functioning. Pumps at Charity, Region Two and another at Lusignan, Region Four were being rehabilitated. A new mobile pump would be deployed to Lusignan to boost the capacity that currently exists at the pump station, the Minister said.
Over the next several weeks, the NDIA will be deploying a minimum of 20 mini-excavators into various communities to help with maintenance of secondary and tertiary structures, Minister Ramsammy said. He said too that several of the 57 excavators that the NDIA has been using to maintain primary structures are also being deployed to help with the secondary structures.