Work to drain land intensifies in Black Bush Polder

Georgetown, Guyana (GINA) January 04, 2006 - Following recent flooding in Black Bush Polder, Corentyne, Berbice, due to unusually heavy rainfall, a high level Government team revisited the area today and met residents and farmers affected by the deluge. Minister of Health Dr. Leslie Ramsammy and Information Liaison to the President, Robert Persaud discussed with residents, arrangements to have two 22RB draglines clear the area in an effort to drain the land. A hymac is also stationed at Number 43 Village to aid in clearing the outfall.

President Bharrat Jagdeo is scheduled to visit the area tomorrow and will be launching the community drainage and irrigation project at the Albion Sports Complex at 15:00h.

A mobile pump from the Regional Office has been placed at Number 49 Village to improve the drainage system, and additional pumps are currently operational at strategic locations in the Polder.

Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Other Crops and Livestock, Satyadeow Sawh, discussed with cattle farmers, plans to have affected animals removed to higher ground.

Eight million dollars was allocated to procure materials for the erection of fences at Number 52 and 66 villages along with Yakusari.

Minister Sawh expressed concern that Regional officials were unable to conduct any tangible work on the fences, although the money was allocated several weeks ago.

The rice and cash crop farmers indicated that animals often damage crops after gaining access to farmlands, and as such, requested the erection of a pound.

At the time of the team’s arrival, residents blocked the roadway with tyres and debris, in protest. However, Persaud intervened and residents agreed to remove the impediments.

This enabled a mobile medical unit to travel further into the Polder in order to distribute medical supplies, as a precautionary measure against possible outbreaks of water borne diseases.

The medical team, headed by Chief Executive Officer of the New Amsterdam Hospital, Vishwa Mahadeo, has been in the affected area since January 1.

Those affected are also receiving potable water, which is supplied by mobile units equipped with tanks – Three at Yakusari and Two at Johanna.

A list of requests by residents and farmers was submitted to Minister Sawh, which will be assessed later today.

Member of Parliament, Zulfikar Mustapha, Regional Executive Officer, Kishore Persaud and Community Relations Officer, Fizal Ali were also part of the team.

When Minister Sawh first visited the area on January 2 to assess the situation, he noted that “This should not have happened and has occurred because of negligence on the part of a number of persons starting from the Community Organisation.”