Black Bush Polder flooding…says sluice doors were operational, drains were cloggedIn light of threatening floodwaters at Black Bush Polder, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) which lasted for several days and affected numerous households, the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority has refuted claims that they were primarily responsible.High floodwaters in Black Bush Polder last week causing persons to save their cattle and livestockAccording to the NDIA, they commenced clearing Black Bush channels at Joppa, Adventure and Eversham about one week prior to the inundation. At the end of the operation, all sluices were operational.Just over one week ago, the polders of Johanna and Yakusari were flooded after a few hours of heavy rainfall. Cash crop farmers and those in the residential areas were the worst affected by the floodwaters. Also affected were some rice and poultry farmers.However, the Authority stated that upon investigation, it was determined that the Yakusari main drain was completely blocked with vegetation; an area which is a responsibility of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC). The NDIA claimed that the local organ body refused to relinquish those duties to them earlier this year.“Upon investigation, it was determined that the Yakusari main drain was completely blocked with vegetation. The Regional Democratic Council, Region [Six], which has responsibility for the cleaning and maintenance of the main drain, had earlier in the year refused to allow NDIA to take over these responsibilities.”It was also indicated that attempts were made by the local organ body to clear the vegetation prior but this proved unsuccessful. They were called to render assistance but the pump station remained inoperable for close to one day.“The RDC sent in a contractor who unsuccessfully attempted to remove the vegetation from the Yakusari channel. To compound the problem, the contractor “cut and loose” the vegetation, which floated to the Joppa pump station, resulting in the station’s grillwork being damaged and pulled into the sump. The NDIA was called in to rectify the situation, which resulted in the pump station being inoperable for approximately 18 hours, since operating the pump without the grillwork may have caused long term damage to the pump,” NDIA stated.It has been announced that had the situation been monitored but a fully-functional pump station, the flooding would have been averted.Sharmilla Davi Pooran, a cash crop farmer, had told this publication that she and her husband cultivate ochro and during the morning, her husband had to use a pump to get most of the water out of the farm.She noted that they also cultivate rice, which was hit by a paddy bug infestation during the last crop.“We get nothing from rice and now it look like we nah gon get nothing from garden,” she said while adding that they cannot afford to continue pumping water out of the farm as the rains continue.Sudeen Ramnauth called “Lil Boy” of Yakusari also said his crop was under water.“I got to pump water, since morning my skin soak and I pumping water.” He said the canal which takes water to the sluice at Number 43 Village is clogged with vegetation. He added that the outfall channel needs desilting urgently.Ramnauth also expressed concern that the pump at Number 43 Village was not being used to assist in getting the water out to the sea.