Saturday, December 27, 2008

Little effort made to alleviate the flood sufferings of Victoria

Stabroek News Letter to Editor, Saturday 27 December 2008
Little effort made to alleviate the flood sufferings of Victoria
BY Staff
Published: December 27, 2008 in Letters

Dear Editor,
I write today to address a serious situation which is blatantly challenging
a rational mind in search of a plausible explanation. What I will outline,
is being seen in our beloved country. The government continues to boast that
it has spent large sums on the drainage system in this country since the
floods of 2005; however, it is blatantly obvious that in 2008, exactly 3
years later, in spite of this massive amount of money having been spent,
that all the villages between Beterverwagting and Clonbrook are worse off.
Many of these villages have been continuously under floodwaters for in
excess of two weeks, some as long as three weeks, with no relief in sight.
In contrast however, even though this area is contiguous, the areas of Mon
Repos, Lusignan, Annandale, Good Hope, Enmore, Nootenzuil, Lowlands, Hope
and Greenfield have had massive efforts expended to remove their
floodwaters, while the villages themselves have all been allowed to remain
submerged for these extended periods.
Ann's Grove, Victoria, Nabaclis, Golden Grove, Haslington, Paradise, Dazzell
Scheme, Melanie Damishana, Friendship and Buxton have all continued to be
submerged, with the worst being Victoria and Dazzell Scheme, which have had
water continuously since before December 8, 2008.
There has been little effort made to alleviate the sufferings of the people
in Victoria, which is arguably the largest village in this area (population
wise). To add insult to injury, even though the Victorians have suffered and
continue to suffer, neighbouring areas like Lowlands and Hope with a
fraction of the population of this village have had every effort made to
remove their water and they have been furnished with cleansers to disinfect
the land and prevent the spread of diseases and medical teams.
It is mind boggling that the kokers at Hope, Nootenzuil and Victoria had all
been inoperative up until a week ago and all that was needed for the
operation of these structures were (Nootenzuil - a winch; Victoria a Hymac
to lift the door) to be able to bring some relief. Unfortunately, when the
area from Hope to Nabaclis was inundated with water, all of this water was
funnelled through Victoria to be pumped out to sea by the three pumps
situated at Victoria. Yet Victoria, which has been the primary drainage for
this entire area, has been allowed to remain submerged, while these eastern
areas have all received relief.
Victoria is situated in a basin in relation to all the surrounding areas,
hence, because of a re-engineered drainage system in this area, all the
drainage waters from these areas flow into Victoria and remain there, if
there is no effort made to ensure that the systems in Victoria are working
to their best ability.
The outfall from the Victoria koker is so clogged, that even though the
koker doors have been raised above the level of the water, the flow out to
sea is negligible, because the outfall to the sea is clogged with silt.
Since Victoria is the lowest point in this area, one would think that it
would make sense to ensure that the outfall to the sea is cleared so that
the water would flow unimpeded. However, this has not been done. The outfall
at Hope has been cleared, even though the koker itself is inoperative, the
outfall at Nootenzuil-Belfield has been cleared and that koker now operates
effectively; but if the water from Belfield and Nootenzuil is not stopped
from flowing into Victoria, even though Lowlands, Nootenzuil and Belfield
are now free from water on the land, this water flows into Victoria and
prevents the water in Victoria from being able to be drained to the sea.
You may ask why this is. Well the drainage and irrigation board in its
wisdom has had two sluice kokers constructed in the crown dam behind these
areas in such a manner, that the sluice doors are permanently below the
water level in the savannah, so that these two sluices bring water 24 hours
per day into Victoria and this water overpowers the water on the land in
Victoria and keeps the village submerged.
Even though there has been money expended in digging some of the drainage
trenches in Victoria, all that this has done is to make Victoria a deeper
storage basin for flood waters and the waters from the savannah, since the
outfall to the sea remains clogged.
Mr. Editor, one has to ask, if Good Hope, Lusignan, Annandale, Enmore,
Nootenzuil, Hope, Clonbrook and Greenfield can all be drained in a short
space of time and the residents there given the necessary fluids to ensure
that diseases do not take hold in those areas along with medical outreach
teams, why is there still water on the land in Buxton, Friendship, Paradise,
Dazzell scheme, Golden Grove, Nabaclis, Victoria, Ann's Grove and DochFour?
Yours faithfully,
Desmond Saul

No comments: