If there is any flooding in the Penal/Debe area due to bad weather, the regional corporation will not be able to rescue or help affected residents.
This grim situation is as a result of lack of funding from the Central Government that has been affecting operations at the corporation for months, chairman Dr Allen Sammy told Guardian Media in a telephone interview.
He said, “Well, actually it has become worse because I sat this morning with the CEO and the accountant and they are telling me that the money has dried up. We can’t buy diesel still. The lil bit that they have is being rationed to essential vehicles, namely the water truck and garbage, meaning our component of garbage collection. We can’t pay our internet bill, this week we are due to pay and we cant afford it and therefore the rolling stock will grind to a halt and all the works that are performed on a daily basis is going to be negatively impacted.”
About three weeks ago, Sammy complained that the trucks were parked up as they had received no releases from Central Government and were unable to effectively provide services to the residents.
A day after Sammy sent out the press release, the corporation received an allocation from the ministry to purchase fuel.
However, Sammy said the situation had worsened since then.
“We have got no release. It is not like we haven’t told them. They even asked us after our last session when we got some publicity they ask us to submit where our urgent needs are and we did and we still have not got releases and therefore we cannot buy diesel, something as basic as buying diesel, bear in my all the rolling stock, meaning the backhoes, the excavators, the trucks and so on, all of them will be impacted. Our bill for diesel is $34,000 per month and $2,500 for gas because most of our vehicles are diesel,” he said.
Given the rainy weather forecast for this week, if residents especially those living in flood prone areas in the region need assistance, they would not be able to reach out to them.
Noting that vehicles in the Disaster Management Unit also have no fuel, he said, “I really don’t know how we will make out. If for example we have to send trucks for an emergency, we won’t be able to do it.”
He lamented that borrowing is not an option because they have maxed out their credit.
“There is no further line of credit, there is no release so therefore you cannot deliver. It means therefore all the people are going to suffer. And if indeed there is rain and flood as I am sure that we will have, then anything that requires the intervention of the backhoe or the truck we will not be able to deliver.”
Attempts to contact Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein on his cellphone were unsuccessful up to late yesterday.