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Japanese Government to fund US$13M drainage project for Georgetown

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The capital city could see another drainage improvement project within the next two years that is being funded by the Japanese Government to the tune of US $13M.

A statement from the Ministry of Agriculture today (Monday, February 13, 2017) said Minister, Noel Holder met with a team from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), “to discuss a possible project which will see Georgetown benefiting tremendously from improved drainage in the city.”

“The three-member team will be in Guyana for six weeks during which they will be meeting with several key stakeholders to aid them with their data collection for Georgetown’s drainage capacity.”

The meeting is the result of a request made by the Ministry in 2015 to JICA for assistance through its grant aid program and works are expected to commence in 2019, once the Japanese government is satisfied with the consultants’ findings.

In January, Minister of State Joseph Harmon had announced that Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan would lead an inter-agency task force with the aim of improving and managing the drainage of the city of Georgetown.

The task force’s mandate included the preparation of a plan for the long -term development of these works.

This announcement also came some months after the Dutch Risk Reduction team would have handed over their final report and recommendations on an effective and efficient drainage system for the Capital.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer for the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), Mr. Fredrick Flatts indicated that during the team’s time in Guyana they will be able to commence gathering the necessary information for their report.

The project will see the construction of four pump stations in key areas around Georgetown, the expansion of the pumping station and the addition of a pumping unit at Liliendall, the purchasing of a dredger, two sludge pumps, two hydraulic excavators, five dump trucks and several capacity building seminars in operation and maintenance of drainage facilities and institutional strengthening workshops.

Agriculture Minister, Noel Holder also indicated that the consultants will benefit from the studies carried out by the Dutch Risk Reduction team.

“Given the fact that the team from the Netherlands carried out quite an extensive study of Georgetown’s drainage channels and systems, your team will be able to benefit from that data. It would also be helpful for Guyana in the future if your team would not only focus on Georgetown but the outskirts of the city and how flooding in these areas would impact flooding in Georgetown and vice versa.” Minister Holder said.

Assistant City Engineer from the Georgetown City Council, Kenson Boston, indicated that the city engineers’ department is on board with the project and the team from JICA. “We are fully committed to working with the team and are anticipating a positive response from JICA after the team would have completed their evaluations of the city.” Mr. Boston said.

Also present at the meeting were Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, George Jervis, CARICOM JICA Expert, Tatsuya Morita, Engineers from CTI Engineering International Co., Ltd. Tsuyoshi Matsushita and Hirofumi Tanaka, Agriculture Sector Development Unit Civil Engineer, Raymond Latchman, Foreign Service Officers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vanessa Dickenson and Rosshanda Bagot and Assistant City Engineer, Georgetown Mayor and City Council, Kenson Boston.

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