Lowland Village drainage system to get upgrade – Minister
Drainage and flood-related issues in Lowland Village on the East Coast of Demerara will soon be a thing of the past, as residents can now look forward to a complete upgrade to the community’s drainage system.
Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha, accompanied by Director General Madanlall Ramraj and other senior officials of that Ministry, met with Lowland residents on Wednesday, and a number of issues were raised, including the need for work to be done on a number of drains and canals.
Vice Chairman of the Lowland Community Development Council (CDC), Chamanlall Bhagwandeen, pleaded for some degree of work to be done, as he pointed out that flooding poses serious health risks to those that are forced to traverse the area.
“When you walk around our village, especially on the southern side, the drain is so clogged up with bushes; the culverts are so blocked up that, when the rain falls, the water is stuck, especially in the southern side. Because it is stuck there; the water raises and cannot get out. It affects not only the crops and livestock, but the people that live around the areas.
“It is very dangerous for our children; because, right now, if you go and look around that area, we have the burial ground and then this water there. The colour of the water has changed, and it’s smelly,” he shared.
Another resident, Danmattie Bisram, also highlighted the issue of poor drainage, and explained that there are no culverts in some sections. Due to the absence of channels for the water to drain, some persons had to undertake their own efforts to relieve the clogged drains of the water.
“Couple days ago, the villagers, because of not getting the drainage, ask around (for) a little donation to buy a 10-inch pipe, and (they burst) the dam and put it at the bottom through the dam, and now we get a little relief with the drainage. We are asking for something to be done so that we can get better drainage,” Bisram said.
After hearing their concerns, Mustapha informed that he has instructed the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) to send an excavator to the community. This will complete all lagging irrigation works in the community.
“The machine will work until the entire system has been done. We’ll redo the entire drainage system for this community. I’ll also ask the head of the NDIA to do a report for me, to ensure we know the extent of the works to be done in the entire area. We have to get cooperation from the residents, because there are residents who have bottle necks when they make their bridges or culverts. If we have to put in tubes to help with the drainage, we’ll do so,” he assured.
A team from the NDIA will be meeting with residents shortly to conduct an assessment of the works to be executed in the area. In this way, representation can be made for those projects to be included in the Ministry’s 2021 work programme.
On the aspect of road works, Mustapha indicated that the relevant authorities would be appraised of the situation, so that a visit can be made to Lowland village. For squatting, the Housing Ministry will be written in due course.
“I’ve seen some of the roads while we were driving in. They are indeed in a deplorable state. I’ll ask the Minister of Public Works to come into the community with his engineers to look at it. That main road has to have a proper engineering study, because the canals on both ends are very deep, and it’s causing the road to sink,” he explained. (G12)