Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 5th 2013 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, October 5, 2013
An innovative anti-flood meas-
ure is to be tested in Bamboo Set-
tlement No 3 and if it works, says
Minister of the Environment and
Water Resources Ganga Singh, it
will be replicated in other lowland
areas affected by floods.
Standing close to the banks of
the St Joseph River in an area of
flat terrain that has a high water
table, not far from the Caroni
Swamp, Dr Stephen Ramroop,
CEO of the Office of Disaster Pre-
paredness and Management
(ODPM), introduced the water-
controlling device and its designer,
independent consultant engineer
Ken Dalchand, who demonstrated
how it works.
Dalchand has protected the
intellectual property rights to the
deep concrete cylinder and regis-
tered it with the Intellectual Prop-
erty Office, part of the Ministry
of Legal Affairs.
The design is based on a phi-
losophy of "living with water"
rather than creating barriers.
"When you build barriers, like
in New Orleans, you create prob-
lems, they collapse," said Ram-
Dalchand took influence from
the Dutch system of water control
while also visiting New Jersey in
the United States to see a similar
kind of cylinder in action.
Bamboo No 3 has flooded up to
six times a year for the past five
years, mostly because of what
Dalchand described as an obsolete
sluice gate that was failing to stop
water from the river from inun-
dating the low-lying ground. The
water pump in the area was also
found to be inefficient at removing
the water from the land after
"Once the water level of the
river rises to above one inch higher
than the water level in the drain,
it will lock off," Dalchand
explained, adding that the cylinder
then slowly discharges water,
thereby controlling the velocity
and capacity of water entering the
It works like a canal lock system
like those seen on waterways in
England, he said.
The system is yet to be tested
in a real-life flood situation but it
has already helped the ODPM and
WASA operatives monitor the lev-
els of garbage being thrown into
the river---a large part of the flood-
ing problem in the area and in T&T
as a whole.
Every week, Dalchand said, he
removes ten bags of garbage, plastic
bottles and bags that have collected
by the entrance of the cylinder,
having floated downstream from
the village. He described the lit-
tering as "overwhelming."
Ramroop says they will monitor
garbage levels to chart "cultural
change" and attitudes to littering
the river amongst local residents.
He also said they will be photo-
graphing it and posting pictures
online so residents can see the
accumulation and the results of
The design and construction of
the new technology has taken two
and a half years from start to finish
after discussions began between
Dalchand and the director of the
Drainage Division, Shamshad
Mohammed. But the next one will
take less time, closer to six months,
now that the prototype is built and
Singh attended the demonstra-
tion after a tour of the St Joseph
constituency, and congratulated
Dalchand for his design, describing
it as a "pioneering event" and
another in "a long line of innova-
tions" T&T has created to deal
with water. He ranked it alongside
the Beetham Sewage Water Treat-
ment Plant, "the best treatment
plant in the western hemisphere,"
and the access to mega-watersheds
that has brought "water for all" in
"It is in this context, at the cut-
ting edge of innovation and bench-
marking models, that we view this
design," Singh said.
"We hope to test it under var-
ious conditions and hope we will
be able to replicate it and prevent
flooding in so many areas that are
He congratulated Dalchand and
Mohammed for their "foresight in
embracing innovation," concluding
that "it is by innovation, inspiration
and leadership we will find solu-
tions to the problems that bedevil
and SHASTRI BOODAN
Homicide detectives are inves-
tigating the death of Chaguanas
mayor Orlando Nagessar s
nephew, who was found dead in
a drain yesterday morning.
Arnold Sooknanan, of Tabaquite
Road, Reform Village,
Williamsville, was found face down
in a drain by shopkeeper Larry
Nandlal outside his Fourth Street,
Harmony Hall, home in Gaspar-
illo.Nandlal went to the front of his
house shortly after 6 am to sweep
near his shop when he found the
He contacted police and officers
led by Snr Supt Cecil Santana, ASP
Harold Seedarie and Insp Williams
visited the scene.
There were bruises to Sook-
nanan s head, police said.
An autopsy at the Forensic Sci-
ence Centre, St James, said he died
from cerebral haemorrhaging due
to a ruptured artery, which was
consistent with a fall.
It is unclear how Sooknanan fell
into the drain. Police said he may
have been throwing stones at a
snake which was also found dead
in the drain.
However, residents said some
children had killed the snake on
At Sooknanan s home where
relatives gathered, his father Enol
Sooknanan admitted his son
drank alcohol heavily but said he
was well liked in the communi-
ty.It was especially disheartening
for Sooknanan s mother Radhica,
as she had recently bought a Toyota
Rav 4 SUV for him which she was
planning to give him on Monday.
Instead, she was at St James wit-
nessing his autopsy.
Enol said the SUV was registered
PDA 777, which represents his
birthdate of July 7, 1977.
In an interview, Nagessar said
he was saddened and distraught
over his nephew s death. Saying
he believed his nephew died as a
result of the fall, he said it added
to the string of bad luck he had
been suffering, which included his
wife having to be treated for a
faulty heart valve.
found dead in drain
Local engineer comes up with device to beat flooding...
New system to be
tested in Bamboo
Minister of Environment and Water Resources, Ganga Singh, right, is shown the
newly constructed water retention well, engineered by Ken Dalchand, centre.
Looking on is the Director of Drainage Shamshad Mohammed during the ODPM
workshop for the new industrial design project, aimed at solving major flooding
problems in Bamboo #3, Valsayn. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
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