Georgetown floods: Clogged drains, garbage, overgrown vegetation blamed

first_imgAfter a night of heavy rainfall and accompanying thunder, Georgetown was a sight of garbage floating in clogged drains, ubiquitous overgrown vegetation, and flooded streets inconveniencing residents, schoolchildren, workers, and everyone else who frequents the city.The situation in QueenstownThis publication toured the city on Monday, and although the water had receded in some parts, Cummingsburg, particularly around Carmichael Street, and Queenstown and its contiguous areas were still under floodwater. In the Queenstown area, the drains were all clogged up by overgrown vegetation and garbage dumped alongside the parapets.This schoolchild braved the flooded streets to attend schoolThis situation renders moot the consideration of whether the Mayor and City Council has been doing enough to manage the drainage network within the city.Meanwhile, over in West Ruimveldt, resident Floyd King Stuart said he has been living in the area for over 20 years, and instead of the flooding situation improving, it is rapidly deteriorating. He explained that every time it rains, the water rises by more than two feet, since the Front Road Canal is silted up and overgrown with vegetation.A clogged, garbage-filled canal in QueenstownStuart said that, in order for residents to get some relief from the flooding, that canal needs to be desilted and the area around the koker cleared out.Incensed, he has accused Constituency Councillor Winston Harding of not meeting with West Ruimveldt residents to address issues they are facing.One of the streets that were converted into a river following the heavy rainfall“The septic tank water rise up and the children have to walk through this water. They getting sick! We begging y’all to do something for us for this area! All over is being cleaned, but Mr Harding is wasting time; and every time you speak to Mr Harding, he say he going to some meeting. He never give you a proper answer yet. We begging y’all, the Front Road need to be cleared to get these trench to get desilted; if not, let the people clean behind them for a short while,” Stuart appealed.A car manoeuvres through the floodwaters near GTT headquartersMeanwhile, another resident, Alana Emmanuel, called for better management of the drainage network within the area. She said every time it rains her house floods, and cleaning up after the flooding is very costly.“Every time this rain fall here so, all inside the house does get one set ah water. It don’t be healthy for these children, because this water get one set ah worm and all kind of thing. All inside me house full with water right now. My son slide down and knock he-self just now… When you trying to bail out the water, the vinolay does tear up and so, and you got to buy back vinolay all the time,” she said.Like the other residents, she called for the Councillor, and by extension the Government, to remove squatters along the Front Road Canal, so that it could be better managed.Resident Alana Emmanuel“The people them need to move on the Front Road (squatters). They need to move on the Front Road (Canal), because every time the rain fall, this is what we going through all the time. Every time the rain fall, this is what we going through — this strain — all the time! The trench ain’t getting fuh clean, and we getting flood all the time,” the woman said.Collectively, residents throughout the City have said constant flooding is something that affects both businesses and schoolchildren.Clearing canalsGeorgetown Mayor, Patricia Chase-Green, has said the rainy season is especially strenuous for the M&CC, since they have to deal with blocked drains and clogged canals. She urged business owners and residents to take the necessary precautions to minimize damages.Resident Floyd King StuartIn relation to the Front Road Canal, the Mayor has said complete clearing of that major drainage canal is dependent on the squatters, since they prevent the equipment from accessing the canal.City Engineer Colvern Venture explained that the M&CC is working with the Department of Housing to have the squatting problem addressed. He added that the City Engineer’s Department was able to clean one section of drainage in February.“Going further east, we are unable to clear that (section) using our equipment. Putting men to work in that canal will be very difficult. We have the challenge of persons having illegal electricity connection in that canal, and it is high-risk to put men there,” Venture explained.Another flooded Georgetown street“We are working with the Ministry of Housing to have those persons relocated. The ministry is working on a programme to regularize some persons within that area — not along the Front Road — but they are looking more to the Laing Avenue; and in doing so, they are giving us more space to walk our equipment to clear those canals,” he added.Venture related that the City Engineer’s Department has the same issue in relation to the North Ruimveldt Canal. (Lakhram Bhagirat)last_img read more