Blocked drains, culverts cause massive flooding in ‘Mines’
Blocked drains and culverts are amongst some of the leading issues which have led to intense flooding in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) Mines communities.
The residents shared their concerns during a recent visit by Prime Minister Mark Phillips and team who were at the time distributing flood relief. A resident of the Old England/Siberian community stressed that this has been a major issue for years.
“The drains here blocking up, as you can see… When rain fall, the whole place does get flood out. The water…running over the road and breaking up the road and go to the culvert and go to the river. The culvert on the one side there, it blocked up, nothing can’t run there so it back up…the culvert need cleaning,” the resident related.
In the Nottinghamshire community, residents made the call for the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) to assess and analyse the situation. It was noted that residents are affected by flooding caused by water runoff from the hillside areas. According to a resident, this has been the situation for more than seven years.
“Now, we got drainage systems that NDIA put here to take off the flooding, but…the drainage canal which supposed to throw the water into the river, if this thing is 10-feet they put a culvert (approximately) 4 feet up – blocking all the water. So the place always deh under water. All of us are farmers and everybody punishing…”, the resident complained.
They noted too that the nearby Surapana Creek is blocked and needs to be cleared.
“Twelve to fourteen inches of water always backing up. The place always flood…Now this Surupana Creek full up with sand,” a resident said as they noted that there was an excavator assigned to the community which keeps “breaking down”.
“The water that coming from the river and the water that coming from the road, all of the water does come and lodge in my yard. So my yard is a swamp right now,” another resident decried.
Additionally, residents shared concerns over mosquito infestation due to the floods.
However, the Prime Minister assured the resident that Regional Executive Officer (REO) Dwight John will coordinate with engineers to look at the situation and follow up on the complaints raised by residents.
Over at Coomacka Mines, residents called for the dredging of the river, while explaining that not only those who live at the edge of the river are affected.
A resident pointed out that it also has to do with the slope of the residential lands.
Residents of Three Friends/Maria Elizabeth also cited poor drainage. In one instance, a section of a road was cut off and made impassable, due to extreme flooding.
“We have a creek and so many families using this creek… and when the rain fall it flooding, “a resident cited.
It was further highlighted that farmlands, gardens and livestock are also affected. Community Development Council (CDC) Chairman Vedwattie Chattergoon-Pancham said that residents are affected in one way or another while noting that the floodwaters have risen the highest since 2005.
Meanwhile, Coomacka CDC Chairman, Dexter Harding explained that there is an excavator assigned to the ‘Mines’ communities, through the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) until next year.
“Every community will have 3, 4 months to have the excavator to do all the maintenance works. Right now, it’s in Coomacka…”, he posited.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said Government has recognised the present flooding situation as a “disaster”, as several communities throughout the region and the rest of the country are severely affected.
He assured that Government is working to bring relief to every affected community and will continue to send the necessary support. He also stated that officials from the Health Ministry will continue to monitor the situation.
Phillips further urged residents to keep their children away from the floodwaters. Presently, hundreds of residents are affected by extreme flooding in Kwakwani. According to the Regional Democratic Council (RDC), riverine communities such as Malali and Muritaro are also severely impacted.