Minister Mustapha orders additional pumps to assist with drainage in Black Bush Polder
- distributes hampers to affected households
As residents in Black Bush Polder, Corentyne, Berbice continue to grapple with the severe flooding due to persistent rainfall and over-topping from the backlands, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha has ordered two additional drainage pumps to be deployed to the area.
The minister made this disclosure during a follow-up visit to the flood-affected communities on Friday. Minister Mustapha had previously accompanied Prime Minister, Hon. Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips to the community on Wednesday to get a first-hand look at the flooding.
Mustapha told residents that several measures were put in place to drain both the residential and farming communities.
“During my last visit, I made a number of interventions in terms of sending machines to have the required works done. Today, I am pleased that most of the measures that were initiated during my last visit are in place.
We have machines working in each of the four Polders and we also have machines working on the Crown dam because water has been over-topping there. We’ve also started distribution of the food and cleaning agents hampers. Residents from Lesbeholden, Johanna, and Yakusari would’ve received hampers today,” he said.
Minister Mustapha also told residents that efforts were being made to install additional pumps in two other areas to complement the drainage system in the Polders.
“We bought a new pump that we’ll be installing at Eversham and before the end of tomorrow, we’ll install a pump a No. 43 Village.”
The Minister said he is optimistic that residents would experience relief with the interventions made thus far if the weather is favourable within the next 24 hours. He also said several interventions have been made to lessen flooding in other parts of the region.
“In the Port Mourant area, there was some amount of flooding this morning. We had to send a machine and we are putting a pump there. We’ve installed a pump at Whim to assist the off-lying areas at Liverpool and we’ve also deployed a pump to Letter Kenny, Bloomfield.
There are other areas in the Region that I am looking at. I’ve just received reports that the Albion area was also affected by flooding so I’ll be making machines available there to carry out emergency works.”
Minister Mustapha also said that efforts are being made to have the pump at Adventure up and running again after it started malfunctioning. He also reaffirmed his commitment to constructing an independent drainage canal in Johanna. This, he said, would be done after the rainy season ends.
The Cookrite Savannah
Residents of Black Bush Polder have also called on the Ministry and other relevant authorities to ensure rice planting in the Cookrite Savannah ceases. During the meeting, residents maintained that in an effort to save their crop, rice farmers are pumping water from the Savannah into the front land. This, they said, was contributing heavily to flooding in the area.
Minister Mustapha said that leases were issued for cattle rearing in the Cookrite Savannahs, but many persons have been planting rice. He also said the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GL&SC) has been engaged to ensure the Savannahs are used for its intended purpose. He told farmers that the GL&SC had indicated that the leases would be reviewed and default farmers would not be allowed to continue planting rice there.
The subject minister also distributed many hampers to residents of Black Bush Polder and will be visiting other flood-affected areas in the region on Saturday.