Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Reopen Cunha sluice - GCI urges

GC news item, Wednesday 07 January 2009
Reopen Cunha sluice - GCI urges

THE Guyana Citizens' Initiative (GCI) has welcomed the announcement by
President Bharrat Jagdeo to open a new outlet channel through Hope for the
East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC) but feels the government should
reopen a key sluice on the East Bank Demerara.
In a statement yesterday, the group said that in his final recommendations
for the required infrastructural works in the wake of the 2005 flood, a
Dutch engineer had proposed opening an outlet at Nabaclis on the East Coast
Demerara and clearing the Shanks canal through to Bee Hive.
In addition, it said he had recommended opening the outlet at Kofi into the
Demerara River from the southern end of the conservancy.
"Presumably, the new canal being projected by the President has replaced the
idea of creating the outlet at Nabaclis and clearing the Shanks", the
organisation said.
It suggested that in addition to the new East Coast outlet being projected,
it is equally if not more important that the Cunha canal and sluice on the
East Bank Demerara be reactivated as a matter of urgency.
Cunha, south of the five-door flood relief structure at Land of Canaan, is
on land sold to the Barama forestry company which filled the canal and
turned the Cunha outfall into a log storage area, GCI said.
"The government is urged to approach the Barama Company without delay with a
view to repossessing and re-establishing control over this vital outlet. The
rehabilitation of the Cunha canal and sluice, including the clearing of the
outfall, will immediately divert towards the Demerara River a significant
volume of water coming from the southern part of the conservancy, thus
relieving the pressure on the northern section of the conservancy dam and
also avoiding the release of water through the Maduni sluice into the
Mahaica Creek except as a last resort," it argued.

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