As heavy rainfall caused several communities in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) to be flooded, residents and farmers especially, are becoming more distressed as the floodwaters are taking an extremely long time to recede due to poor drainage and lack of proper systems in place to address the issue.
Rice farmers are furious as thousands of acres of cultivated rice fields remain inundated for almost a week now and they expect to suffer major financial losses.
Guyana Times was told that some farmers who have pumps have taken it upon themselves to pump the water out of their fields while the majority will have to depend on the drainage system.
Regional Chairman, Devanand Ramdatt, when contacted, said that the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) is seeking the timely intervention of the Government especially the Agriculture Ministry to address the issue.
According to Ramdatt, the situation is becoming more challenging and the RDC is requesting that a careful assessment be conducted by the relevant Government Ministries and agencies to provide information which will guide response mechanisms.
The Regional Chairman is also calling for a timely supply of fuel in addition to proper maintenance of all the drainage pumps in the region. He expressed that despite the heavy rainfall, he believes that the water levels would not have been a major issue had there been a timely supply of fuel to enable the pumps to be put into operation. He said that this is a system which was not adopted by the relevant bodies.
“In the absence of that system being adopted by the regional administration, the administrative arm of the region which is by the REO, because at the level of the RDC we’ve always been recommending that that be the approach, that we have timely supply of fuel for the pump, so that in the event of any rainfall while the tide is up, that the pump can [be] put into operation,” he stated.
He disclosed that when the heavy rainfall was experienced, many of the pumps were not operational as a result of inadequate fuel supply. This, he explained, created major complications, which contributed to the situation becoming exacerbated.
The Regional Chairman added that there is adequate budgetary allocation in the system which can rectify this issue. He stated that recommendations have always been made at the level of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC), however, the support from the Clerk of the Council to implement decisions is lacking. It has been reported that the high levels of floodwaters are affecting both residential and cultivation areas in the region.
The RDC and the people of Region Two are concerned about the continued negligence and delayed response from the Agriculture Ministry on such key matters.
When contacted for a comment on the situation, Regional Executive Officer (REO), Denis Jaikarran said, “I have no comments”.
Meanwhile, the Civil Defence Commission posted on its Facebook page that the Rapid Damage Assessment Teams have been deployed to support Regions Two and Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara). Cleanup hampers were also distributed in those regions.