Residents of Mafeking Village in Mayaro rang in the new year dealing with “the worst floods ever” to hit their area. Since Sunday night, the flood-stricken residents have been spending hours moving heavy furniture and appliances to higher ground in order to save them.
Kelvin Gangaram said his family of five spent Christmas packing their stove, fridge, freezer, beds and living room sets on piles of brick and on tables. Close to tears, he said: “It is a nightmare to deal with three feet of water in one’s house.“
He related how the Ortoire river overflowed and brought down loads of mud and debris to his home. Gangaram believes the flooding is as a result of work done by an oil company in the area which resulted in water courses being blocked by fallen trees. He estimates that at least 600 people were affected.
Yesterday, CEPEP workers were called to assist in cleaning the home of contractor Michael Lambkin. “Since 5 am I have been cleaning my home and there is a lot more to be done,” he said, adding that he could not meet his deadline for delivering his services because of the floods.
Meanwhile Pastor Robert Bruce of the Mafeking Pentecostal Deliverance Church in Chrysostom Street lamented that villagers could not attend New Year’s Eve service on Sunday.
“We were calling everyone and praying for the people on the phones,” he said. When Newsday visited, CEPEP workers were pressure-washing inside the church building. Bruce said while many are trying to save their furniture and appliances, they need to remember to spray their areas to prevent water-borne diseases such as typhoid fever, cholera, leptospirosis and hepatitis A.
Residents are calling on Minister Works Rohan Sinanan to visit and see the damage done to their homes.
Mayaro MP Rushton Paray said the Ministry of Works has been lackadaisical when it comes to dealing with drainage and clearing of water courses.“