Improved drainage for flood-affected Capoey with new $260M sluice


Over 2,000 acres of rice lands in Capoey and surrounding communities on the Essequibo Coast in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) are expected to benefit from improved drainage as a new sluice outfall is currently being constructed to serve the area.

Regional Vice-Chairman Humace Odit told the News Room, in a recent interview, that the new structure was built after the old sluice outfall collapsed and had to be “blinded off”.

After the old sluice collapsed, the communities of Capoey, Taymouth Manor, Little Alliance and Queenstown were without adequate drainage, resulting in inadequate drainage for over 2,000 acres of rice lands.

Vice-Chairman for Region Two (Pomeroon – Supernaam) Humace Odit (Photo: News Room/July 28, 2022)

“With this structure in place now, it will allow for a better drainage system for the rice farmers, cash crop farmers and for the conservancies that we have aback this particular area,” Odit said.

“If this structure isn’t here then there will always be flooding that will happen whenever you have intensive rainfall in this particular area,” he added.

The Vice-Chairman noted that residents made several complaints on numerous occasions about high water levels in the community after heavy rainfall and when water is released from the conservancy to residential areas.

He said that the construction of the sluice is timely as rice farmers have recently sown their lands and there will be a great need for adequate drainage.

“If you don’t have a structure where water can be receded to the Atlantic then it will a real challenge for them [rice farmers] and so this structure forms one of that important aspect to rice farmers where they can have better drainage and a better regulating system for managing water,” he said.

The condemned sluice (Photo: News Room/July 28, 2022)

He noted that the new structure allows the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) to stop the use of pumps, saving costs while allowing those pumps to be used in other areas.

It will also support the prevention of erosion.

The contract for the $260 million sluice outfall was awarded by the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) to M. Sukhai Contracting Services in September 2021.

Odit noted that there were some delays due to inclement weather, however, he is hoping that the project would be fast-tracked and completed within or before the next four months.

Project foreman, Ramnarine Motilall (Photo: News Room/July 28, 2022)

Project foreman, Ramnarine Motilall explained that works are approximately halfway completed.

He noted that the base of the structure is already cast and works are currently ongoing on the wing walls.

“The weather is strong on us here but we are hoping to done in the next four months, if we get the weather we will complete by then. We got all the materials but only the weather is strong” he said.

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