Agri. Minister calls on City Council to properly manage pumps, sluices as more heavy rainfall expected

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Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha has called on the Georgetown Mayor and City Council to properly monitor and manage the pumps and sluices in the city as more heavy rainfall is expected in the coming weeks.

Several communities countrywide experienced flooding following hours of heavy rainfall Thursday night into Friday morning. City engineer, Colvern Venture recently told the News Room that they were prepared for any potential flooding in the city but on Friday, many people woke up to their yards, homes and street flooded in Georgetown.

Minister Zulfikar Mustapha meeting with officials at the Commerce Street sluice in Georgetown (Photo: News Room/December, 10, 2021)

Minister Mustapha visited sluices located at Cowan Street, Commerce Street, and Ruimveldt to assess the preparedness and operation for the rainy season. He was accompanied by officials from the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA).

Residents who reside close to the River View sluice reported that their homes were flooded. They claimed that the operator who is responsible for the sluice did not do so promptly which resulted in their homes being flooded.

Flooding in Georgetown (Photo: News Room/December, 10, 2021)

One resident, who met with the minister, said that he has been bailing water from his property for most of Friday morning, after which, he will have to purchase disinfectants and other cleaning agents to sanitize his property.

While speaking with the media, Minister Mustapha said that although all of the sluices and pumps appear to be operable, residents reported that there was a delay in the opening of some of the sluices which contributed to the flooding.

“We have three engineers who normally check to ensure these structures are fully functional but are often faced with difficulties because some of the gates are usually locked and our officers are not granted access to monitor these structures,” Minister Mustapha said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture installed a larger pump at Commerce Street, Lacytown, Georgetown; this will facilitate more efficient drainage works, Minister Mustapha said.

Flooding in Alberttown, Georgetown (Photo: News Room/December, 10, 2021)

“I hope that the City Constabulary can better monitor the City’s sluices and pumps. They need to ensure the operators assigned to these structures are consistent and open these sluices on time,” Minister Mustapha said.

Cognisant of the Christmas holiday season, Minister Mustapha said he hopes that effective drainage is maintained.

“The NDIA has also given a lot of help to the City Council to get these areas drained so it is now up to the Council to effectively manage these structures so that we can have proper drainage whenever there are instances of heavy rainfall,” Minister Mustapha said.

The Georgetown Mayor and City Council have primary responsibility for monitoring and maintaining the drainage structures in the city.

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