Mahaica residents battle with rising “smelly” water
– without drinking water for days
Residents of several villages in Mahaica, Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) are seeking the immediate intervention of Government as they battle with the rising level of “smelly” water.
Several houses in Highdam, Mahaica were surrounded by discoloured water and in some instances, the lower flats were inundated.
Two weeks ago, Anika Bickoon was forced onto the street after the floodwaters swept through her house with reptiles swimming in the 18 inches of water.
On Sunday, there was no water in her house, but the stench was unbearable.
“Since the last time the water recede, I came back home and clean up. I put away everything and start back living as normal and two days ago the water start to rise up stink, stink, stink, black and stink. I can’t live here. I can’t cook and do anything,” she explained.
Nevertheless, another resident, Onica Prince, related that the garbage piled up needed to be removed as soon as possible.
“We have nowhere to throw the garbage. All the things that we throw from the house, they are just left there and the NDC [Neighbourhood Democratic Council] is not coming to pick them up,” Prince said.
When Guyana Times visited the area, Prince was taking a basket with clothes to another community to wash.
“For the past two weeks we have been getting this water, it is not going anywhere; it is stagnant, dirty, and smelly. Presently, I cannot stay here. We need help and immediate help. This is dangerous for our children. They have to go to school, but what can we do? Right now, there is an urgent need for water. We cannot drink the water from the tap. I live at the back, the truck use to come and we would buy water, but now the truck cannot come in because of the situation. Tomorrow, we cannot get water. Drinking water is most important. We cannot do anything,” she reiterated, adding that there is no water to wash dishes.
Meanwhile, residents claimed that the Public Health Ministry has not visited the area since the sea defence gave way at Dantzig causing wide flooding and killing livestock and pets.
While the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) has been constructing dams to prevent further intrusion of seawater, residents were footing the expense of pumping water out of their yards.
“Minister Patterson came two times and nobody else came to tell us what happening. So, we decide to crown the dam at the back and take money out of our pocket and pump this water out,” Lloyd Noberga told Guyana Times.
Region Five Chairman Vickchand Ramphal explained that the water has been coming back onto the land, noting that some of the fields which had dried off are once again flooded.
“This is because of the current high tide,” he explained.
Two weeks ago, the sea defence at Dantzig, Mahaica gave way allowing the salty seawater onto the land, killing livestock, rice fields and vegetable farms.