Calls for Government to address flooding in Region 2; Agri. Minister said no crops lost
Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo today (Thursday January 12, 2017) said the New Year has started unfavourably for many farmers in Regions Two as they have suffered severe losses following heavy rainfall that resulted in flooding there.
On Wednesday, January 12, 2017, the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region Two stated that an email was forwarded to Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan in relation to the situation following meetings with farmers, residents and staff from the Drainage and Irrigation Department.
According to the Opposition Leader today (January 12, 2017), thus far nothing has been done resulting in huge losses for farmers there.
The regional Chairman on Wednesday (January 11, 2017) accused the Government of showing a “general lack of interest and slow response” to addressing floods in the Region.
He noted that as a result of the floods, the rice industry which is the Region’s key sector has been struggling.
After inspections and meeting with key stakeholders the Regional Chairman communicated his concerns on October 26, 2016 via an email to the Regional Executive Officer – Rupert Hopkinson identifying priority drainage and irrigation initiatives that were necessary in preparation for the rainy season. The said email was sent to.
According to the Chairman, unfortunately the REO ignored the email and continued to divert staff, funds and machines from key priority projects. In the process failing to adhere to key RDC decisions that were aimed at enhancing the lives of all residents in the region.
The RDC is calling on the Government to take appropriate actions regarding the negligence of Rupert Hopkinson that lead to widespread floods in the region that created frustrations and economic loss in a region with an already struggling economy.
He noted too that frequent updates were being provided to the Minister of Agriculture, Civil Defence Commission and NDIA regarding the flood situation in the region.
The Opposition Leader claims that Government said Government continues to ignore the pleas of the Regional Chairman and the people of Region 2.
However, Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder in an interview on Wednesday (January 11, 2017) said he is deeply concerned about the floods in the Region.
He noted that “one of the problems we face is the clearing of the outfall channels since they get silted up easily .The solution is to install groins – we are talking with the Ministry of Public Infrastructure which has the responsibility for sea defenses. We also plan this year to purchase a dredger to be able to clean the outfall channels.”
The Minister said too that “if the mouth of the Pomeroon is dredged, then the whole drainage system will be better.”
The NDIA managed to maintain all its pumps working and its sluices functioning well and we had some outfall channels cleared which helped to alleviate the situation, he assured.