Flood clean up underway but citizens brace for more heavy rains
Bouts of heavy and persistent rainfall over the Christmas weekend left Guyana’s coastline inundated with specific challenges for residents in and around the capital city, Georgetown.
On Tuesday, citizens were in clean-up mode, attempting to disinfect and salvage damage to goods and materials caused by flooding.
The News Room went into several communities to hear the foremost cry of affected residents and got a firsthand look at drainage pumps working at peak capacity as heavy showers are expected through the rest of the week.
At the Bourda Market, vendors stood in at least six inches of grimy floodwater, moving food items and other dry goods to higher ground. But it was not a new occurrence according to a female vendor who only identified herself as Jean.
She said continuous periods of rainfall usually flood the entire market and those who rent stalls there are left to deal with the losses.
“Since Christmas we deh in water…every time the rain fall, is flood and nobody comes in the buy… if is two days we deh in water, is whole two days we doan get sale,” Jean told the News Room.
Added to that, Jean bemoaned the pile of garbage left at the entrance. This she said has been an ongoing issue and while repeated complaints were made to the authorities, nothing is being done.
“We are left to deal with that smell and now water here, it is terrible now,” she added.
Other vendors were too busy bailing floodwater from their establishments to offer comments; one was even attempting to rescue chickens from the murky flood water.
Over in Alexander Village, another area prone to flooding, Shellon Bonds was washing her yard with disinfectant after the floodwaters receded. Her entire street was still flooded.
Bonds has been living in Alexander Village for more than two years and the flood situation has only gotten worse, she said.
“I come and meet this and I guess you just have to cope with it… Is years this Village does flood… It went high high this morning [Monday] and then the water go down a little, you gotta clean whatever mess left in yuh yard,” she explained.
“An hour rain fall and this place done flood girl, that is how it is always and I do not what they [the authorities] gon do about it…” Bonds relayed.
A stone’s throw away, Bonds’ neighbour, Peter Hamilton spoke of similar experiences, adding that drainage is a “big issue” in Alexander Village.
“Within 20 minutes on Monday, this whole place was flooded and is because of the drainage… the drains ain’t clean, they ain’t dredge the koker in a while and all of that causing the flooding every time,” Hamilton relayed.
Hamilton and Bond suffered no damages from the flood waters but Jaikarran who lives in Kingston, Georgetown was not so lucky.
He took to social media to express his frustrations after the floodwaters entered his bottom flat, damaging appliances, furniture and suitcases filled with his niece’s clothing that were in the lower flat.
Jaikarran, still visibly upset blamed poor drainage at the Kingston drainage pumps which he claimed were not operational when the rains came.
The Flood Task Force, however, reported on Monday that all of the pumps and sluices were functioning at optimal levels at Cowan Street and the Forestry Commission, Kingston, Water Street, Princess Street, Sussex Street, Ruimveldt, Kitty and Liliendaal.
Other residential areas such as Albouystown, West, East, North and South Ruimveldts, Bel Air Park, Wortmanville were inundated on Monday rainfall measured a total of 3.5 inches from 08:00 hrs to 14:00 hrs.
The Hydrometeorological Service forecasts frequent rainfall along the coastland over the next 12 hours and as such, all relevant agencies are on standby to respond to any impacts or hindrances.
Residents countrywide are advised to remain observant and take all necessary precautions during this time.