Prime Minister blames Mayor and Town Council for flooding in Linden; Government activates response

Prime Minister blames Mayor and Town Council for flooding in Linden; Government activates response

As several parts of Linden remain under flood waters following two back to back days of heavy rainfall, Prime Minister Mark Phillips is laying blame for the flooding at the doorsteps of the Linden Mayor and Town Council.

In a statement on Tuesday evening as many Lindeners faced more flooding as the heavy rains continued, the Prime Minister said the Government is fully committed to providing swift and effective relief, but stated that the municipality’s neglect of clearing drainage in the town along with the two days of rainfall are responsible for the flooding situation.

The Prime Minister said “from all indications, the areas affected by flooding are a direct result of the ineptitude of the current Mayor and Councillors who are focused on collecting revenues from all possible sources while failing to maintain the drainage infrastructure essential for the safety of the residents now suffering from the floods”.

He announced that the Ministry of Public Works (MoPW), in collaboration with the Linden Town Council and the Office of the Regional Democratic Council, is working to clean and clear debris in critical areas, including alleys in Wismar and the Retrieve area in Linden.

Admitting that the Central government observed the issue with drainage during a recent visit, prompting a cleanup of drains in the central Mackenzie areas in preparation for the 58th Independence Anniversary Flag Raising Ceremony last Saturday, the Prime Minister said the call for a swift response from the central government is the easy part, adding that “the failure of local and regional governance of Region Ten and the Mayor and Town Council of Linden” needs urgent addressing.

He said the collective failure to perform their duties, including taking advantage of the long dry season to clear the drains and clean up the entire town of Linden, is unacceptable.

Prime Minister Phillips said the Region’s highest per capita budget, should make it better prepared for flooding.

“Both the RDC and the Municipality of Linden must now lead a massive cleanup operation before the next deluge. With the La NiƱa weather phenomenon predicting more rainfall in the coming months, immediate action is imperative”, the Prime Minister said.

The Government has since announced that in response to the current situation, a multi-agency response has been activated, and the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) has engaged private contractors to clean and clear the drains to facilitate better water flow and reduce flooding.

The Mayor of Linden, Sharma Solomon, in a statement on Tuesday said repeated efforts to get the help of Central Government to assist in the clean-up of drains and the clearing of the creeks, were met with silence. He also accused the current Town Clerk of ignoring the Council’s instructions to activate clean-up groups. The Mayor said the Central Government only started a limited clean-up exercise last Friday in preparation for the national flag raising exercise, which was held in the town. The exercise ended just before the event was hosted in the town.

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