CHAIRMAN of the Siparia Regional Corporation (SRC) Dinesh Sankersingh is expecting areas within the corporation’s purview to flood during the rainy season but he has assured that plans are in place to mitigate the effects of the rising water.
Since last week, Sankersingh said, excavation works have been taking place to ensure that drains, rivers and streams are cleaned when water flow is low due to the ongoing dry season.
“As soon as the Government releases more funds, we will be contracting another excavator. We do not want to be caught unaware. We want to be proactive, not reactive. The areas that flood traditionally will be flooded again, but for others, it may be the first time,” Sankersingh said.
“Our disaster management units are on guard so that they are well prepared should there be any flooding.” He said councillors have been “patrolling” the areas in the district for garbage or build-up of debris which the SRC’s solid waste team then picks up and cleans the areas.
The corporation is also engaging in a public education drive to have people clean up their surroundings. “We are preparing flyers urging burgesses in flood-prone areas to take pre-emptive measures like having a contingency plan, securing livestock, having important documents in waterproof bags and keeping an eye out when it is raining,” Sankersingh said.
The rainy season runs from June to December and for many years, flooding has been a normal occurrence in low-lying areas such as Woodland and San Francique, which are all within the SRC’s districts. Already several burgesses have taken it upon themselves to prepare.
Shawn Boodram of Pluck Road, Woodland, had workers back-filling his yard. He said it was a precautionary measure for the yearly flooding residents experience. At Ackaloo Trace in San Francique, Dinanath Harrilal said he too is back-filling around his house to try to prevent flood waters from entering.
“When the flooding starts, no one can enter this street. The water in the rivers come from areas such as Moruga and Siparia. When the banks of the rivers burst, here too look like a big river,” Harrilal said.
“For three years in a row, we got a massive flood. I used to mind ducks, but I stopped and right now I only have nine. I had about 130 ducks, in 2018 and many got cramps and died in the flooding.”