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A team from the Ministry of Public Works was dispatched on Tuesday evening to conduct emergency works to seal the river defence breach in the Golden Grove, East Bank Demerara area to prevent further flooding.
Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, who led a team immediately following the reports, made the disclosure during a media engagement following an assessment of the situation.
“We saw the breaches and we have since mobilized the equipment to do an emergency sealing of the breaches. Every household we have visited has been affected to different degrees. However, we are here with the people, and we are going to continue this operation to ensure that people can return to some normalcy,” PM Phillips said.
He stressed that the emergency sealing is crucial given the high tide, which is expected to recur in the wee hours.
The team visited the homes in the area, consulting with residents and providing temporary solutions and the necessary support.
The senior government official said residents reached out Tuesday afternoon. Upon arrival at the scene, the prime minister and team were met with severe flooding in the area.
The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) will also be stepping in to distribute hampers with cleaning products to the residents, as well as to assist with relocating persons whose homes suffered severe damage.
“The CDC will be doing their own assessment, but immediately, we have established a shelter for persons who need it,” the prime minister disclosed.
The Diamond Community Shelter is being utilised for this purpose.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, shared a similar update, explaining that the flooding was caused by overtopping, and exacerbated by a clogged dam.
“Sealing the breaches is our number one objective. We have teams from the sea defence, NDIA, and local government−everyone is back there working together to ensure that we have that sealed. Once the breaches are finished, the permanent works will continue,” Minister Indar said.
Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, has informed that contractors who are currently executing a sea defence project in close proximity to where the breaches occurred, have also been mobilised to address the current flooding.
Further, the minister commended the initiative taken by the Neighbourhood Democratic Council, Regional Democratic Council, and the residents, to address the matter.
Minister Edghill also visited the Good Success Koker with the ministry’s technical team.
Providing an update, the public works minister said, “I have been assured that with the works that have already been done, and the work that will be continued, when the tide changes, water will not be able to come in.”
The area’s existing sea defence consists of an embankment with a dilapidated timber revetment. Last year, a contract was awarded for phase one construction of 200 metres of steel revetment. To date, approximately 135 metres have been completed.
To alleviate the flooding, temporary works include the heightening and fortifying of a barranca along the river dam to withstand the turning tide. (DPI)