Work­ers with General En­gi­neer­ing

Stabroek News Sunday - - FRONT PAGE -

Sup­plies and Services Inc drive sheet piles into the re­cently drained Com­pany Path basin as the work be­gan yes­ter­day to con­struct a pump sta­tion which is ex­pected to al­le­vi­ate flood­ing in Bux­ton.

The Com­pany Path canal at Bux­ton, East Coast De­mer­ara has been blocked and the basin drained as gov­ern­ment be­gins the con­struc­tion of a se­cond pump sta­tion at Bux­ton.

A source fa­mil­iar with the drainage sit­u­a­tion of the vil­lage how­ever as­sured Sun­day Stabroek that al­though the canal ap­peared poised to breach its preg­nant banks, there is no need for con­cern.

“This place is re­ally dry and the wa­ter is ac­tu­ally very low right now but if it rains then the con­trac­tor will have to move the bags and clear the sluice. The level right now has to be main­tained so that the farm­ers can ac­cess wa­ter and in case of a fire or any other emer­gency there is wa­ter. True, we can’t blow the koker like be­fore but if a sit­u­a­tion oc­curs, the con­trac­tor, who seems to have the equip­ment, will have to clear it,” the source said, while adding that the canal is ac­tu­ally not a drainage canal but a High Level Canal for the re­moval of over­top­ping from the Lamaha Canal. “The drainage canals are the side­line canals and they are pretty low right now,” the source stressed.

The De­part­ment of Pub­lic Information (DPI) re­ported on March 19th that the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, through the Na­tional Drainage and Ir­ri­ga­tion Author­ity (NDIA), has spent more than $581 mil­lion for the con­struc­tion and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of drainage and ir­ri­ga­tion struc­tures at Bux­ton and Tri­umph, on the East Coast.

The con­struc­tion and in­stil­la­tion of these drainage and ir­ri­ga­tion struc­tures in low-ly­ing ar­eas along the coast are part of height­ened flood preven­tion ef­forts in prepa­ra­tion for the up­com­ing May/June rainy sea­son.

How­ever, yes­ter­day when res­i­dents of Bux­ton North were jerked awake to the sound of piles be­ing driven, they were not re­lieved.

Work­ers from General En­gi­neer­ing Sup­plies and Services Inc. be­gan the lay­ing of sheet piles just af­ter six in the morn­ing and the noise gen­er­ated from the process re­ver­ber­ated through the mostly wooden homes in the vicin­ity of the con­struc­tion.

When Sun­day Stabroek vis­ited the site, the labour­ers present could pro­vide lit­tle de­tail about what safety mea­sures were, or should be, fol­lowed and in fact most of the men claimed not to be aware of the name of their em­ployer.

Asked about the ex­pected com­ple­tion date of the pro­ject and its im­pact on the drainage sit­u­a­tion in the in­terim, the men were un­able to answer, not­ing only that the basin had to be drained and the canal blocked to fa­cil­i­tate the work.

This sta­tion is one of two be­ing con­structed in the Bux­ton area with a se­cond sta­tion at Friend­ship/Vig­i­lance set to be com­plete by next month.

DPI has re­ported that the Agri­cul­ture Sec­tor De­vel­op­ment Unit (ASDU) is re­spon­si­ble for fa­cil­i­tat­ing the con­struc­tion of (Photo by Keno Ge­orge)

the three pump sta­tions lo­cated at Lusig­nan, Friend­ship/Vig­i­lance and En­more, a pro­ject which is be­ing funded by the World Bank at a cost of $1,407,345,410. It also in­cludes the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of 4 kilo­me­tres of the dam from the Hope in­take struc­ture to the En­more in­take struc­ture.

The drainage ca­pac­ity of the pumps at Lusig­nan and En­more is 3 m/s³ while the Friend­ship/ Vig­i­lance pump will have a drainage ca­pac­ity of 2 m/s³. These pump sta­tions are ex­pected to be com­mis­sioned in April, 2018.

Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter, Noel Holder, is re­ported to have said

dur­ing a visit of the var­i­ous sites that gov­ern­ment is im­prov­ing the coun­try’s over­all drainage ca­pac­ity, es­pe­cially in com­mu­ni­ties that have been with­out proper drainage and ir­ri­ga­tion for decades.

“With the ef­fects of cli­mate change glob­ally re­sult­ing in ris­ing sea lev­els, more pumps are needed along Guyana’s coast to in­crease our drainage ca­pac­ity. With this in mind, the min­istry through the ASDU and the NDIA are in the process of con­struct­ing sev­eral struc­tures that will sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove the lives of farm­ers and res­i­dents along the en­tire coast. Con­struc­tion of these struc­tures fall un­der the min­istry’s flood risk man­age­ment ef­forts that in­volves a se­ries of works of this na­ture be­ing un­der­taken within the next two years.” Min­is­ter Holder said.

Dur­ing the site visit, Min­is­ter Holder urged the en­gi­neers to keep in mind the ap­proach­ing rainy sea­son and to en­sure that works are on sched­ule.

(Photo by Keno Ge­orge)

Con­struc­tion work­ers busy at work in the swamp left be­hind when the Com­pany Path basin was drained.

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