Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Fisheries operations suspended as flood leaves big stink

Published:Tuesday | September 13, 2016 | 9:00 AMChristopher Serju
A worker from Manpower & Maintenance Services Limited cleans the ground-floor offices of the Fisheries Division of the agriculture ministry along Marcus Garvey Drive, with the watermark on the wall to his right stark evidence of the extent of the flooding.

The ground floor of the Fisheries Division of the agriculture ministry was laid bare by rampaging flood waters on Friday that destroyed valuable office and laboratory equipment, as well as data records, the full extent of which is yet to be determined.

This has forced the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries to suspend operations at the Marcus Garvey Drive location, pending further notice.

"The floods damaged records and equipment, and have disrupted both electricity and Internet connectivity, thus rendering normal operations impossible at this time.

"While the offices located on the upper floor were not affected by the flooding, all work on the ground floor, where most of the technical functions of the division are carried out, has had to be suspended given the significant damage to the office spaces and the equipment," the ministry advised in a release.

 

ABANDONED VEHICLES

 

It is understood that some staff members caught off-guard by the swiftness and volume of the floodwaters abandoned their vehicles in a bid to escape the fast-rising water. Some resorted to climbing on grilles to escape the flooded buildings.

When our news team visited yesterday, the water had subsided, but two smashed glass doors, remnants of the perimeter fencing, overturned office furniture and laboratory equipment were left in the wake of the floodwaters.

Wearing water boots and protective respiratory gear, workers from Manpower & Maintenance Services Limited toiled hard to get the dirty, stink water out.

Outside where workers from China Harbour Engineering Company were helping with the clean-up of solid waste, mosquitoes were buzzing above the water that had settled in the yard.

There the vehicles gave mute testimony to the intensity of the flood waters which not only covered some but transported others to destinations which baffled the imagination.

As a result, the extent of the clean-up will necessitate temporary relocation to ensure that critical functions such as licensing and registration will resume speedily. Stakeholders will be updated as soon as possible, the ministry advised.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com