as waters rise
THE Civil Defence Commission (CDC) is making
plans to evacuate Mahaica/Mahaicony residents if
it becomes necessary, commission head Colonel
Chabilall Ramsarup said last evening as water rose
in the two rivers and spread to residential
decision to release water from the East Demerara
Water Conservancy (EDWC) through the Maduni sluice
to avoid breaches in the dam, and swamping the
densely-populated East Coast Demerara, means
higher water levels in the yards and homes of
Mahaica/Mahaicony river residents.
while the floodwaters over the last month affected
residents in the rivers, the opening of the Maduni
sluice means the same fate for residents in
residential areas, and Ramsarup said the CDC was
identifying possible shelters in case evacuation
said some families in the rivers have already
moved older people and children to stay with
relatives on the main road, while the others are
prepared to battle it out.
said those he has had discussions with do not wish
to be placed in shelters.
said the decision to release water from the EDWC
through Maduni was prudent since the Mahaica/Mahaicony
areas were already flooded and the build up of
water in the conservancy could have posed a threat
to the dam and cause much more headache were it to
the devastating January floods last year, Mahaica
and Mahaicony were also flooded to ease the
pressure on the EDWC.
Agriculture Minister, Mr Satyadeow Sawh was sent
into the Mahaicony River to explain to residents
there the decision to open the Maduni sluice,
while Public Service Minister Dr. Jennifer
Westford was sent to the Mahaica River.
are under way to prevent breaches in the EDWC dam
and a workforce of more than 100 has been deployed
to shore up low sections of the northern dam, an
from the conservancy is being let out through four
sluices -- Maduni, Kofi, Cunia and Land of Canaan.
Two pumps are at work to supplement drainage
through the five-door sluice at Land of Canaan,
and a third has been requested by the authorities,
the official said.
evidence of overtopping has been noted along the
dam, the official reported, and a 24-hour close
watch is under way.
Maduni sluice was opened after noon yesterday and
the water level in the Mahaica River had moved
from 55.20 GD to 55.30 GD at around 18:00 h, the
official told the Guyana Chronicle.
the eastern Flagstaff end of the EDWC, the water
level was put at 58.55 GD, the same as earlier in
the day. However, the level at Land of Canaan had
risen from 55.65 GD to 56.20 GD, by nightfall, he
Mahaica River is the lowest of the rivers within
the Mahaica, Mahaicony, Abary (MMA) grid.
other river in the agriculture development area is
the Abary, and the residents there are at this
point most concerned about their livestock.
the three rivers, Colonel Ramsarup, indicated that
15 per cent of the cattle have died already. He
said these were primarily older cows, and calves.
said with the water level rising, higher grounds
for the animals are becoming difficult to locate
and their continued survival is threatened.
addition, he said additional relief is on the
cards for Mahaica/Mahaicony residents who will
suffer further hardship because of the opening of
the Maduni sluice.
crop and livestock farmers, who depend on these
for their livelihood, were already each allocated
$100,000 as relief.
the heavy rains expected to continue, President
Bharrat Jagdeo, who convened a special meeting of
his Cabinet yesterday morning, assigned several of
his ministers to other parts of the country which
are flooded, the Government Information Agency
Guyana Meteorological Office indicated that a
reduction in rainfall intensity is expected in the
next 24 hours.
in rainfall intensity is likely on Thursday and
Friday, and is likely to be accompanied by
isolated thunderstorms and gusty winds. Rainfall
may exceed 1.5 inch, the office said.
Works Minister, Mr Minister Harrinarine Nawbat has
been assigned to assess the situation in Region
Six; Minister of Health Dr. Leslie Ramsammy to
East Coast Demerara, East Bank Demerara and
Georgetown; Minister of Housing and Water, Mr
Shaik Baksh and Minister of Culture, Youth and
Sport, Mr Anthony Xavier to East Coast Demerara
and Georgetown; Minister of Tourism, Industry and
Commerce, Mr Manzoor Nadir to Georgetown, Minister
of Home Affairs, Ms Gail Teixeira to Region Three;
Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Ms
Bibi Shadick to Essequibo Islands, and Minister of
Foreign Trade and International Cooperation, Mr
Clement Rohee to Region Two.
the leader of the Justice for All Party, Mr C.N.
Sharma, said he has dispatched a letter to
President Jagdeo calling on him to declare the
flood situation a national crisis and has urged a
meeting of local government officers to review