Relief soon but residents still fearful over state of koker door at Providence

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Following heavy rainfall on Tuesday, worry has increased among residents living in Providence, East Bank Demerara that another flood will occur should the rainfall persist.

But Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha has assured those residents that the door to the affected koker, intended to remove inland water, will soon be replaced.

At the sidelines of an event recently, Mustapha told reporters, “The sluice door collapsed and I have given instruction that we must replace them with metal doors. Now the steel door will take some time to fabricate and as a result, the stop block cannot be removed.”

He explained that the stop block will prevent further flow of water into the system. He further said that a pump was placed there to remove accumulated water from rainfall.

However, regarding a permanent fix, he said, “People will not see any major activity until the sluice door is fabricated and when that is fabricated then we’ll take it there to replace the sluice door and do the revetment and all the work.”

A post by resident Elizabeth Ramjohn on Facebook read “Almost one week since the flooding and up to now no door. The pump that was placed there is not working. No one cares for the people living in this area. But I am putting it in God’s hand.”

Stop logs have since been installed at the sluice (Photo: Ministry of Agriculture)

On September 08, over 200 households in Providence and Peters Hall were affected by flooding, with the lower flats of these houses being inundated. Residents said they were awakened at about 02:00 hrs to the flood as a result of the koker door breaking away.

A release by the ministry noted that the operation and maintenance of this structure fall under the RDC and from observation, the structure was not being maintained.

The minister said he will meet with the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) and the other authorities to determine a way forward.

“We cannot continue like this so the NDIA may have to assist with operating and maintaining this structure as well. We cannot have the lives and wellbeing of our citizens threatened because those in charge are neglecting their responsibilities,” the minister noted.

Residents have complained that this was not the first time that this area was flooded.

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