Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha is urging citizens in low-lying, flood-prone areas to take all necessary precautions since the latest forecast from the Hydromet Office suggests that current weather conditions may lead to further flooding. In the meantime, he assured that the government is sparing no effort to ensure the nation’s drainage systems are in order and relief is provided as early as possible to affected areas.

The Minister reminded that it was on Saturday President, Irfaan Ali established a Cabinet-level Task Force to coordinate a comprehensive response to the current rainy season and potential flood impacts across Guyana. He recalled as well that the Taskforce is headed by Prime Minister, Brigadier (R’td) Mark Phillips.

While speaking with members of the media during an event on Sunday, Minister Mustapha said reports received suggest that all of the drainage structures in affected areas are operable and cautioned persons residing in low-lying areas to take the necessary precautions.

As it relates to the allocation of resources to critical areas, Minister Mustapha explained that all pumps are operable and that mobile pumps have all been deployed to affected areas across the country.

He said, “…In Georgetown alone, we have 13 pumps and they are all operable. Although we have all these systems in place, there will be instances when people will encounter flooding because of the high intensity of rainfall we are experiencing. Wherever there is a need for machinery or other resources we will try our best to make those resources available.”

Last Wednesday, Minister Mustapha along with a team of technical staff from the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), visited a number of drainage pumps sluices in Georgetown following instances of flooding across the city. During his visit, it was discovered that several sluices were not fully opened, thereby restricting the flow of water. The minister subsequently instructed the sluice operators to raise the sluice doors, and there was a noticeable difference in the flow of water into the river.

Meanwhile, Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh told reporters that although it was too early to pronounce on the extent to which persons were affected, tremendous pressure is placed on the government’s resources when these situations take place.


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