Massive drainage works for South G/Town as residents, groups get $55M in contracts


Massive drainage works are planned for flood-prone South Georgetown and on Monday, the Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha announced that the residents who will execute those works will receive contracts totalling $55 million.

Mustapha told the News Room that the much-needed drainage works will be divided into 23 lots and various residents and community groups will be awarded contracts to clean each lot.

Because these works have been divided into those 23 lots, Mustapha opined that work should be completed in about two weeks’ time. After that, maintenance works will be needed.

“I am hoping that at the end of it, as long as we have more funds, we can ask them to do maintenance works,” Minister Mustapha said.

Because of its topography, the area has long been challenged by heavy rainfall, particularly during the biannual rainy seasons experienced in Guyana as floodwater accumulated for much longer periods.

The residents meeting with Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha on Monday (Photo: News Room/ July 25, 2022)

Constant desilting is needed to keep the drains and canals in the area clean.

Toyan King, one resident who has been awarded a contract to help clean the drains in one lot, said that these works are timely given how the ongoing rainy season has troubled residents.

The award of these contracts came just weeks after the residents complained about the flooding situation to President Dr. Irfaan Ali.

The South Georgetown area remains flood-prone despite the use of several pumps and sluices during the rainy season. Complicating the situation is the worrisome neglect of some of those machines, Minister Mustapha said previously.

Several members of cabinet and the Chairman of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) Lionel Wordsworth subsequently met with those residents after a massive plan was devised to improve drainage there.

It was previously noted that these drainage works are just a short term solution as earthen drains gradually become filled with silt again. The plan is to eventually convert those drains- not just in South Georgetown but all across the city- into concrete structures.

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