Illegal vendors, littering blamed for Charity flooding

Residences and businesses close to the Charity Market on the Essequibo Coast are under floodwaters again as a result of clogged drains, caused by littering.
Speaking with Guyana Times on Saturday, Charity/Urasara Neighbourhood Democratic Councillor Ryan Vanslygtman said illegal vending is to be blamed for the situation. According to Vanslygtman, illegal vendors are placing their stalls directly over the drainage structures, and are throwing all their waste materials into the drainage system, which is presently clogged.
He noted that floodwaters were over 12 inches high in some areas, and even the public road was partially flooded. The councillor said that when flooding occurs, legitimate businesses and vendors are made to suffer the most damage and losses. He said the issue is something that has been plaguing the area for some time now.
“The legal businesses are the ones suffering the most, because they are paying all their taxes and still have to compete with the illegal sellers, who come to Charity on a daily basis and destroy the environment by leaving all their garbage behind,” Vanslygtman said.
Every time it rains heavily, he said, Charity businesses are forced to endure the same fate.
“The tide in the Pomeroon River is low and still the water (is) not draining…that is showing clearly is the garbage blocking the system,” he added.
Meanwhile, the business community in the area is calling on the regional administration to clamp down on illegal vending.
On Saturday, a regional engineering team visited the flooded area. The Regional Democratic Council for Region Two, on its Facebook page, said it was very evident that there was blockage due to garbage backup and neglected internal drains.
“The Regional Administration is calling on vendors and residents to desist from disposing of garbage in the drainage system,” it stated. (Mohanlall Seulall)