Flood-affected Herstelling residents call on NDC to fix culvert

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Heavy rainfall has caused major flooding at First Street, Herstelling, East Bank Demerara due to a sunken culvert that is now preventing the water from draining.

The affected residents are calling on the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) to intervene and urgently fix the issue.

The News Room visited the area on Thursday where it was observed that the yards of many residents are submerged. With nowhere for the water to recede, the residents fear that they will be flooded until the rainy weather stops.

Khateja Mohamed, who lives at the corner of First and Rum Shop Streets, said most of the water flows directly to her yard before exiting through a culvert. The culvert, however, has a blockage which is preventing the smooth flow.

The section of the drain where the culvert sunk and now blocks the free-flow of the water (Photo: News Room/ May 11, 2023)

“Four o’ clock this morning when I come down, it was already flood. When rain fall, I don’t sleep because I have to come down and look to see what happen.

“The wall [at the culvert] sink down…All things passing heavily and it does take a long time for the water to push out,” Mohamed said.

According to the 67-year-old woman, the area is prone to flooding and has caused her tenants to relocate over the years. Since the rainy weather approached, she has not been able to operate her shop located in the bottom flat of the two-storey house.

Mohamed was accompanied by several other neighbours on Thursday morning as they attempted to clear the blockage but the concrete structure that sunk near the drain is greatly affecting their efforts.

“I want the NDC to do something urgently because I have a business and I have to lock up and can’t even cook,” Mohamed said.

Khateja Mohamed, a flood-affected resident (Photo: News Room/ May 11, 2023)

Other residents said they called the NDC earlier in the day but no one responded until hours later.

The Chairman of the NDC, Puneet Jaigopaul told the News Room that the team was dispatched to inspect the situation. He explained that the blockage at the culvert will be assessed by an engineer before further interventions can be made. He also disclosed that a team recently cleaned the drain there.

In the meantime, Mohamed and other residents complained about the dangers the flood poses to their health. Mohamed said that on many occasions, snakes and large worms float into her home when the water rises. Currently, the water stands about six inches above the ground.

According to residents, over the years, multiple promises were made for the culvert to be fixed but none have come to fruition.

 

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