After weeks of flooding, farmers and residents in the backlands of Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara, are slated to get relief as
rehabilitation works on a breached dam in Strath Campbell along the Perth Canal are expected to commence shortly.
This comes in light of a report recently carried in Guyana Times which highlighted that hundreds of acres of farmlands were flooded via the unrepaired breach during high tide.
Information reaching this publication indicated that the Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary Agricultural Developmental Authority (MMA-ADA) has secured equipment and will visit the area to begin rehabilitation by Thursday.
MMA-ADA General Manager Aubrey Charles, when contacted on Tuesday, confirmed this and further explained that some months after the said dam was constructed, it settled and its height was as a consequence decreased.
“After the settlement, the height of the dam was below the designed level,” Charles explained.
The General Manager also said that the recent spring tide overflow caused soil erosion which facilitated the widening of breaches which were responsible for the heavy levels of flooding.
“We also learnt that not too far from there, another section of the dam has eroded, so it’s two portions of the dam eroded,” Charles stated.
According to the official, he visited the area some three weeks ago, but because of the “soft” terrain of the area, it is difficult to transport machines to rectify the problem. To this end, Charles pointed out that he could not give a specific date for when the works would be completed.
One farmer with knowledge of the dam had told Guyana Times that indeed the current conditions would hinder the completion of the rehabilitation works. As the breached sections of the Perth Canal are currently unrepaired, farmers in the Branch Road Mahaicony backlands are still battling flooding even though the high tide has decreased.
Farmers, who are still flooded, related that they were suffering as the dam now needed some amount of dry weather to be repaired. They expressed their frustration over the fact that the recent El Niño period was the ideal time to have done the repairs, but nothing was done to assist them. Now that the rainy season has started, they lamented the fact that they have to suffer losses.
They stand to lose hundreds of acres and millions of dollars. To prevent a complete destruction of the rice crop, the farmers have the costly undertaking of pumping water from the fields every time the tide goes out.
Meanwhile, while the floodwaters at Company Dam, New Providence have receded, residents fear that the next spring tide will again cause major flooding, which would destroy their plants and threaten the safety of the children who use outside toilets and traverse the area to get to and from school.