By Shemuel FanfairEven as the three-month intermittent flood situation in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) continues, Regional Chairman Vickchand Ramphal noted that the affected communities are in urgent need of flood relief.“Residents across the region in those areas that are affected, should receive some form of relief so that they can get back on their feet,” he noted.In a telephone interview with this publication on Monday, Ramphal highlighted that flood waters in the villages of Trafalgar, Union and Bush Lot have receded but communities in the Mahaicony area remain inundated.“There are still a few communities where the water is a bit high but Trafalgar, Union and Bush Lot area are relieved from the flooding situation…in Mahaicony Creek, the water is receding very slowly, a few inches [and] those residents are still affected,” the Regional Chairman pointed out.It was also explained that the permanent pumps at the Trafalgar sluice have not been working “for a number of years” due to mechanical problems encountered over the years.Ramphal pointed out that the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), in collaboration with the Mahaica Mahaicony Abary/ Agricultural Development Authority (MMA/ADA) installed three mobile hydraulic pumps to temporarily alleviate the flooding situation.He stated however, that the mobile pumps cannot pull off as much water as the permanent pumps since it doesn’t have the capacity. This he explained is a militating factor towards the prolonged flooding in the region.Agriculture Minister Noel Holder had stated that the flooding in Trafalgar and Union was compounded by the non-working pumps. Holder had pointed out that the damaged pumps at the Trafalgar Pump Station have a combined capacity to drain “almost 3000 gallons of water per second”.It was expressed that works to fix the pumps were expected to have begun. To that end the Region Five Chairman said that the Regional administration is anticipating the rehabilitation of the damaged pumps.MMA general manager Aubrey Charles had told the Government Information Agency (GINA) on Tuesday last that some of the pumps in the region were not operational.“The pump at Mora is an irrigation pump, that pump is not working, that is only to bring water into the system. The pump at Pine Ground is working. We can’t use the pump at Mora Point because it is a fixed pump to bring water into the system, it can’t take water out but right now we want to take water out,” Charles had posited.On Monday last, over 200 angry residents from Number 30 Village, Trafalgar, Union and Bush Lot protested the flood situation.Reports had stated that the residents gathered at sections of Number 30 Village and with the use of trailers, blocked a major access road, which caused a 45-minute traffic delay.Since then operatives of Government and the Opposition have been meeting with residents to address their concerns.
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