Homes, businesses affected by sea defence breach in Grove

Some 30 homes and businesses were affected to different extents by floodwaters in Grove, East Bank Demerara on Tuesday afternoon after a sea defence breach occurred in the area.
A total of 30 households, comprising 25 children between the ages of five and 18, and 17 adults were directly affected by the breach.

Public Works Minister Juan Edghill said on Tuesday he received calls from residents who notified him about the flood. He added that subsequent to the flood, an assessment has been conducted to know and understand the magnitude of what transpired, so the situation can be properly assessed.
“We will have to get a clear indication if this was a result of the contractor’s fault, if it was a result of my own staff’s fault, because of improper monitoring; or it was just the event of the spring tide that we are having here, or if it’s just a combination of all of those factors. And we will have to deal with that at the appropriate time,” Edghill remarked.
Edghill added, “We have an active contractor…working on the sea defences close to where the breaches occurred. That contractor, along with other emergency response contractors, were and are mobilized to deal with the current flooding.”
Prime Minister Mark Phillips highlighted that, since the incident, the Ministry has mobilised the appropriate equipment to do an emergency sealing of the breaches.
“We have since mobilised the equipment to do an emergency sealing of the breaches, and why we won’t do that now is because…we’re experiencing an unusual high tide at present, and while the tide is ebbing now, at 4 am [on Wednesday] we’re expecting it to have high tide again. So, it’s important that we do the work,” Phillips expressed.

Meanwhile, Minister within the Public Works Ministry, Deodat Indar, shared that the Ministry is currently taking action to ensure the breaches are repaired. He added that once they are finished, permanent work will continue in the area.
“When we saw what happen with the flooding, myself and [the] Prime Minister came to the location with some technical people. We were at the back, the place was messy, the water is overtopped because they have [a] high tide. In addition to that, the dam that is being used to move material from one place to the next it was very muddy, and movement of the machine back and forth I believe…compounded the problem with the high tide.
“So, you had areas where three spots…were overtopping [and] water moved quickly into the community. With respect to the objective of sealing the three breaches, we have mobilised a number of machinery and materials to seal the three branches, that’s the number one objective,” the minister explained.
The area’s existing sea defence consists of an embankment with a dilapidated timber revetment. Last year, a contract was awarded for phase one construction of 200 metres of steel revetment. To date, approximately 135 metres have been completed.
To alleviate the flooding, temporary works include the heightening and fortifying of a barranca along the river dam to withstand the turning tide.
In response to the flood, the Civil Defence Commission coordinated, established, and executed an operational management of emergency shelter for the affected residents at Grove Seventh Day Adventist Church, Lot 123 Grove Village, East Bank Demerara. The emergency shelter is being monitored and manned by the staff of the Civil Defence Commission, who remain dedicated and vigilant in the response to disaster preparedness and management throughout Guyana.
Additionally, 80 hampers, inclusive of 50 cleaning supplies and 30 food packages, were distributed to residents of the community