To help avoid a recurrence of the devastating floods of last year which left two persons dead, the Chairman of the Diego Martin Regional Corporation, Mr. Anthony Sammy, says utilising technology is an option.
Mr. Sammy said this new technology could reinforce the hills and allow rain water to run-off without affecting residents’ homes.
There will be a “twinning” with the Mayor of Chacao, Venezuela who has agreed to make this technology available.
“Basically, the technology is a method by which they drive large, long steel rods into the hills and then they do a BRC-type structure with pipes running to the back of it, so the water runs down from the back, and then they concretise the entire thing in the shape of the hill or mountain or whatever and that keeps it up.”
Mr. Sammy said his Corporation wants to put things in place to prevent flooding and it is time a Master Drainage Plan be introduced.
“I went to Mt. Pelier in France in October to look again at twinning with them because they are one of the top ten companies in the world that looks after water management and I have asked the Minister of the Environment and Water Resources, Minister Ganga Singh, to look at a Master Drainage Plan for the Diego Martin region because I think we have to look at that aspect of it, and not just fix something as it happens.”
The main contributors to flooding in the hills are slash and burn farming, squatting as well as indiscriminate dumping.
The Corporation spends somewhere between $1 million and $750,000 annually to clear water courses.
Mr. Sammy said the crews pulled fridges, old tyres and other garbage from the rivers that run through Diego Martin.
He urged people to act responsibility and access the Corporations waste-removal services.
“We have to be careful, we have to look after our own environment. As I said, the Government has its part to play but so too do the burgesses.”
But he noted that heavy rainfall for an extended period of time will always pose a threat, regardless of precautionary measures.
The Corporation has trained over 150 people in CERT, ICS AND FEMA disaster response practices.
Mr. Sammy said in a disaster, the first responder should be a neighbour so citizens should always be ready.