The Netherlands will later this year begin mapping the drainage system in flood-prone Georgetown, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson announced.
Four doctoral scholars, he said, would be going to Guyana in July under the auspices of the Dutch Risk Reduction (DDR) Team to lay the groundwork for effective drainage management in the entire capital city.
“When the mapping has been completed, we would model Georgetown on software and we can actually see where the areas of risk are, where the areas flood are based on the water-flow and we can make targeted interventions,” he told the opening of Sea and River Defence Resilience Project Launch Workshop being held at the Pegasus Hotel from April 13 to 14, 2016. The US$30.9 million project is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank and the Guyana government.
A DDR team last November conducted a review of Guyana’s drainage system and tabled seven recommendations to government- upgrade modelling capability; increase flood resilience of people and businesses; upgrade dredging capabilities and improve flow efficiency; develop long-term plans; develop and test a pilot project; develop and apply a life cycle approach for the drainage assets; and data management through digitisation.
He noted that shortly after the coalition administration assumed office in May, 2015 Georgetown was affected by two floods which informed the government that that Georgetown’s drainage is being managed by several agencies. “One of the discoveries during those floods is that fact that in Georgetown we do not at the moment have a full overview of our drainage system and it is spread all over six different agencies,” said.
The Minister of Public Infrastructure said the CDB-Guyana funded sea and river defence project would include the establishment of a system to monitor changes in the shoreline.
Announcement of the planned mapping of Georgetown’s drainage system coincides with the ongoing de-silting of the city’s drains and alleyways. However, from all appearances, there is a virtual absence of proper maintenance as many of the already cleaned areas are being clogged up again by solid waste, silt and vegetation.