Gov’t ramps up works in Mahaicony to protect sea defence during high tide

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In light of the upcoming spring tides period which commences Friday, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure’s Sea and River Defence Department is taking significant measures to ensure farmers in the Mahaicony area are not again affected.

According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), the Government on Wednesday delivered 6, 000 tonnes of rocks to construct a rock armour from Dantzig to Fairfield where the sea defence was severely affected in September.

In Fairfield, A&S General Contractors Incorporated has constructed 100 metres of rip rap structures with more works to be done.

Within the Dantzig section, BK International has responsibility for trucking material in via the road along the access dam to the foreshore. That access dam was widened and enhanced to allow the steady flow of the heavy-duty vehicles.

A truck taking boulders to Dantzig foreshore.

Both stone and dirt are on a continuous flow to Dantzig. Currently, excavators are mounting dirt along the earthen embankment to support the boulders stones that are set in placed along the shoreline.

In a collaborative effort, the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) has positioned 2 diesel pumps in Cottage and 1 in Dantzig. By the end of the week, another pump will be set up in Dantzig, bringing the total drainage capacity to 4 pumps.

These pumps will discharge water from the Bellamy Canal that runs parallel to the earthen embankment, into the Atlantic Ocean. To compound these efforts, the Mahaica/Woodlands sluice will be fully operational during low tides to ensure maximum draw-down of water from the Bellamy canal.

NDIA and the Public Infrastructure Ministry have also impoldered many of the rice lands within the Dantzig to Fairfield area, in addition to the access dam leading into Dantzig foreshore to reduce the chances of heavy flooding in the residential areas.

This extensive operation in Mahaicony is not without challenges. Four barges sank since the last spring tide that ended October 2, due to the unrelenting waves of the Atlantic. Added to that, about two weeks ago, a tug had also sunk in the area.

One of two diesel engines in place to power both pumps at Cottage, Mahaicony.

Additionally, because of the damage done to the foreshore by the last spring tide, the transport of material to the breaches within the critical 3km zone has been a difficult task. It is with this in mind that the two contractors on the ground are working progressively towards the breaches from the Dantzig and Fairfield sites.

In addition to the contractors executing the emergency works, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure has also engaged multiple rock suppliers to support the work on the ground.

Both contractors in Mahaicony will continue works even as spring tides begin on Friday. Residents living along the coastal belt of Regions 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 have been advised by the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) to take all necessary steps to minimise damage to property and to prevent health hazards.

The spring tides will run from October 25 to October 30.

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