Rebuilding works to commence this week

first_imgWCD/EBE floodingAfter devastating high tides battered coastal communities last week, the Public Infrastructure Ministry has disclosed plans to assess and better the sea defences on the West Coast of Demerara, especially in the recently-affected areas.While assessing the destruction the high tides had caused on Saturday, residents of the affected areas called on Central Government to look into improving sea defences, with larger boulders and proper drainage so that last week’s flooding could not recur. It appears that that call has been heard by the Public Infrastructure Ministry.In a phone interview with Guyana Times, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson highlighted that those concerns were at the top of his agenda.“My agency is just trying to make sure that the infrastructure is back in better order; that’s what my concern is,” he stated.When asked about the Ministry’s plans going forward, Patterson noted that the official assessment of the area would commence today.“Tomorrow (today) we will be doing a full [tour] around the villages. If any internal damage or so forth, we will be doing that work this week,” he noted.Former Housing Minister and current Member of Parliament (MP) Irfaan Ali has also announced that the Tuschen/Uitvlugt Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) members, along with himself, have done a flood assessment by walking from house to house tabulating the level and cost of damage in the area.Aside from that, Ali stated that the NDC members would be hosting a meeting with the displaced residents at 16:00h (4pm) today so that they could voice their concerns and share what areas they may still need assistance in.The NDC and MP Ali had registered their disappointment with acting Prime Minister Carl Greenidge, along with the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), meeting residents without the NDC and Councillors of the Local Government arm. “We feel disrespected after all our efforts to work in a collaborative manner with the stakeholders. The local response committee will continue to work in the interest of residents,” the NDC had stated.The communities of Ocean View, Uitvlugt, Leonora and Stewartville were on Thursday plunged into a state of despair when massive high tides not only overtopped the sea defences, but also battered those defences, leaving them in a crumbling state. Over 300 residents were displaced and made to stay in emergency shelters as the high tides continued to create havoc over the weekend.Some clean-up works had started on Saturday when the CDC and acting Prime Minister Greenidge visited the affected areas to distribute relief items. Residents received items such as water, bleach, mops and other cleaning agents.When <<>>> visited the area, residents were seen clearing the damage caused by the floods, with many of them removing mud and other debris.To date, the smashed seawalls have been barricaded with sandbags and concrete slabs. However, there is fear that these reinforcements may not be enough since the distressed villages are bracing themselves for more high tides.last_img