The Minister of Communities will lead a task force with the aim of improving and managing the drainage of the city of Georgetown.
The establishment of the task force was made during Cabinet meeting this week, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon said at a post- Cabinet press briefing held today, at the Ministry of the Presidency, Shiv Chanderpaul Drive.
“The task force will also be expected to prepare a plan for the long -term development of these works which they are going to do. Cabinet will be expecting to be laid before it, a long- term strategy for the drainage of the city of Georgetown,” Harmon told the media.
A flooded part of Georgetown after constant heavy rainfall during late December
The task force comprises the Georgetown Mayor and City Council, the Ministries of Agriculture, and Public Infrastructure and the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA).
It is expected that the task force will be utilising the recommendations presented by the team of Dutch engineers which will be utilised by the task force in finding effective drainage solutions for Georgetown. “There are some very serious options. There is going to have to be some radical change in the way we do things and the overall strategy will have to take into account those mandates,” Minister Harmon said.
Last July, the Dutch Risk Reduction team presented a report for the modelling of an effective and efficient drainage system for the city of Georgetown to the Minister of Public Infrastructure.
Earlier this week, Georgetown and other parts of the country were inundated by heavy rainfall due to La Nina weather phenomenon. The city, Linden and low lying parts of communities along the coast were affected by minor flooding due to the heavy rains. Georgetown’s flooding in late December was exacerbated by high tide.
Cabinet was also told that all of the fresh water catchment areas and conservancies were experiencing levels well within their safety margins. Minister Harmon explained that all the relevant agencies particularly the NDIA “are working assiduously to drain the flooded areas.”
The Guyana Civil Defence Commission (CDC) is monitoring the situation countrywide through the National Emergency Monitoring System (NEMS). NEMS is a 24-hour service, tracking potential emergencies and providing the appropriate response.