Cabinet agrees to modernisation of sluice doors to prevent flooding
Following the recent collapse of the sluice door at Providence, East Bank Demerara that led to widespread flash floods in nearby communities, Minister of Agriculture Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha has said that modernised doors will soon be installed at sluices.
The sluice door at Providence is being replaced with a metal door, offering assurances to almost hundreds of households there. Minister Mustapha on Friday told the News Room that the sluice doors at other locations will be modernised.
“I am instructed to replace these doors with steel doors so in next year’s budget a number of those doors also will be replaced as we continue to modernise it and install these new durable doors,” the minister explained.
Last month, residents living at Peter’s Hall and Providence, East Bank Demerara, were awakened to floodwaters in their yards and homes, a situation blamed on a faulty sluice door.
After learning of the incident, Minister Mustapha and other senior officials and engineers attached to the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) visited the area to conduct an assessment at approximately 03:45hrs.
Minister Mustapha explained that the door collapsed as a result of the tide and that engineers from the NDIA were working to address the situation and bring relief to those affected.
The door has since been replaced with a promised steel door after a temporary blockage was placed at the sluice.
“We have installed a new door at the Providence sluice. The door that gives way there a steel door is there now,” the minister said.
Initially, a pump was also placed there to prevent future flooding in the area.
Minister Mustapha explained that the local Regional Democratic Council (RDC) is responsible for maintaining the structure. During his visit to the area after the flood, he pointed out that it appeared this was not being done regularly.
“The operation and maintenance of this structure fall under the RDC. From my observation, the structure was not being maintained as it should be. I will now have to sit with the 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,” he added.