Flood relief expected as Gaico gets $569M contract to dredge Pomeroon river

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Farmers in Region Two (Pomeroon- Supenaam) have pleaded with the government to dredge the Pomeroon river to mitigate flooding woes; on Tuesday plans were inked to do just that as the government awarded a $569.3 million contract.

The contract from the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), under the Ministry of Agriculture, was awarded to Gaico Construction and General Services Incorporated.

“One of the most important, burning issues, we know for a fact, is the dredging of the Pomeroon river,” Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha said on Tuesday.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GAICO Construction and General Services Inc Komal Singh (at left) signing the $569.3 million contract to dredge the mouth of the Pomeroon river (Photo: News Room/ April 12, 2022)

Dredging the mouth of this river is expected to provide significant flood relief to farmers, many of whom grow coconuts and cash crops. It is also expected to allow various vessels to access the river at both high and low tides.

Beyond this contract, the Ministry of Agriculture has awarded 35 contracts, totaling nearly $1.4 billion, for a number of works across the country.

There were 20 contracts awarded under the NDIA. Other notable works include the construction of irrigation structures and rehabilitation of flood embankment at Mara, East Bank Berbice.

This contract, valued at $29.5 million, was awarded to Kascon Engineering Inc. It is expected to provide flood relief to farmers using over 10,000 acres of farmlands. It is also expected to open up 17,000 acres of new lands.

Several contracts were awarded for the empoldering of farmlands in the Upper and Lower Pomeroon river.

This should improve drainage for approximately 1,500 acres of prime agricultural lands for the cultivation of cash and permanent crops.

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