…as APNU/AFC Govt tried unsuccessfully for 1 year to seal breaches
…permanent fix to be applied – Regional Chairman
“I am very happy at the approach of Government to have these breaches sealed in less than two months,” Region Five Chairman Vickchand Ramphal told the media on Friday during a site visit of the sea defence at Dantzig, East Coast Demerara, Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice).
The sea defence at Dantzig breached last year, causing widespread flooding to both residential and farming communities. At the time, rice farmers saw their fields being wiped out as saltwater from the Atlantic Ocean swept through the land. Cattle Farmers had difficulty locating animals and many died. Cash crop farmers were also not spared and poultry farmers suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses.
Many residential communities remained under water for weeks after spring tides. Some persons were forced to leave their home for months.
Prior to that, former Regional Executive Officer (REO) Ovid Morrison accused the Regional Chairman Vickhand Ramphal of spreading misinformation when Ramphal called on the Government to attend to a breach in the sea defence at Dantzig. Morrison had claimed that it was overtopping and not a breach. However, as the forceful Atlantic continued hammering the feeble see defence, the breach opened at Dantzig, causing widespread destruction in the community. Subsequently, a contractor was then hired by the coalition Government to seal the breach but before he could, two more breaches developed and the one at Dantzig got worse.
However, one year later, the coalition Government had not been able to seal the breaches along the East Coast Demerara shoreline.
However, during a visit to the affected area on Friday, Ramphal showed this publication that the breaches were all sealed.
“There are three contractors on site that are currently working on these breaches to have them sealed permanently. Already, some of that prominent to work was done,” Ramphal explained.
The contractors are M&B Construction, BK International and Toolsie Persaud.
During a site visit on Friday, work was moving at a slow pace by the contractor working east of Dantzig in the Belvedere area. In fact, at the time of the visit, excavators were seen lying idle.
Ramphal said while a contractor has a lot of material on-site there is a need for work to be carried out in a timely manner so as to have the permanent fix before the rainy season begins.
“With a heavy downpour and this breach not permanently fixed that can affect the entire area again,” the Regional Chairman pointed out.
He called on the contractors to ensure that workers are on the ground and expediting the project.
With the breach being sealed, there can be no intrusion of saltwater from the Atlantic Ocean, however, a permanent solution, as the Chairman mentioned, is part of the contract and should see geotextile fabric, boulders and whites forming a rip-rap so as to seal off the defence and prevent erosion.