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Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha, has condemned acts of vandalism of the flood control embankment in the backlands at Letter Kenny, exacerbating flooding in agricultural areas along the Corentyne Coast.
The minister on Wednesday called for an immediate investigation following reports of damage to the structure, which increased flooding at Letter Kenny and Whim a release from the Ministry of Agriculture said.
Residents of the already flooded villages reached out to the Minister and senior officials of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) claiming that persons had tampered with the structure. This eventually resulted in the development of severe breaches in sections of the structure, which later collapsed, resulting in floodwaters from the savannahs invading agricultural areas.
“Today, I received calls from several residents and farmers from Whim and Letter Kenny who informed me that persons had tampered with the embankment. I told NDIA to carry out an investigation and those reports were later confirmed.
I’ve seen videos of the devastation now being faced as a result of what appears to be a deliberate act. These are critical structures that were built to restrict the intrusion of floodwaters into residential and farming communities. If Government is working and allocating resources to reduce flooding and a few persons take it upon themselves to disrupt that, hundreds of farmers and residents will suffer so I am urging persons to desist from tampering with these critical structures,” Minister Mustapha said.
The NDIA has since moved to have the structure repaired and will continue to monitor the situation in the affected areas.