Persistent rainfall across parts of Guyana’s coast over the last 48 hours has left many homes in several communities in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) inundated.
During an assessment visit to Zeelugt and Meten-Meer-Zorg – two of the most affected communities – on Tuesday afternoon, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha told residents that systems have already been put in place to relieve flooding in the area.
While there, Minister Mustapha visited some of the homes of residents who were affected to get a first-hand look at the impact of the flooding.
Residents told the Minister that there was an urgent need for a large drainage pump to be sent to the areas to assist with draining the land as the sluices were only able to operate when the tide was low.
Minister Mustapha told the affected residents that after receiving reports that several communities were flooded, systems have since been put in place to have two pumps sent to the affected areas to complement the sluices.
“From the level of the NDIA, two pumps will be sent to these areas. One will be placed permanently at the De Kinderen Sluice and the other will be placed at Zeelugt temporarily until the water recedes. After that, I’ll be coming back to these areas with our engineers to see what interventions can be made so that we can avoid or at least minimise future flooding,” the Minister said.
Furthermore, while discussing how pollution continues to contribute to flooding in many communities, Minister Mustapha pleaded with residents to desist from littering.
“These areas are very low areas and water from the high lands will always accumulate in these low-lying areas. Also, the amount of garbage that we’ve seen in the drainage systems is also contributing to the severe flooding that residents are experiencing. I am therefore pleading with you the residents to desist from throwing garbage into the drains. When these bottles and other things find themselves in the pumps, they cause massive damage to those pumps,” Minister Mustapha said.
In addition to the pumps, an excavator is also scheduled to commence works in the areas to clear clogged waterways that continue to impede the flow of water.
The Minister also reminded residents that, as was previously announced by the Ministry’s Hydromet Department, heavy and persistent rainfall is expected over the next few weeks and that they should take the necessary precautions to protect their homes. He also told residents that from the level of the Flood Response Taskforce, the Civil Defence Commission will be engaged so that cleaning supplies can be distributed to those affected.
The Hydromet Department’s weather brief for Tuesday, December 28, predicted rainfall between 15.0mm to 40.0mm, with the highest expected rainfall over Regions Two to Five expected between 19:00h on Tuesday and 07:00h on Wednesday and that these conditions will likely lead to flooding in low-lying and flood-prone areas.