Residents and farmers of the Pomeroon in Region Two can expect improved economic activity and better drainage with the ongoing dredging of the Pomeroon River to the tune of $569 million.
During a recent interview with the News Room, Regional Chairman Vilma DaSilva said that the “long-awaited” project is a major one for the region and one that was heavily requested.
“We have big siltation at the mouth of the Pomeroon so this is definitely affecting the draught of the river as a whole,” DaSilva said.
“Farmers depend on self-acting kokers to drain their farmlands so when you’re not getting the draught from the Pomeroon that goes in the Atlantic we have constant flooding,” she added.
The Pomeroon area experienced significant flooding in December last year and again in February this year as a result of extensive rainfall, compounded by the overtopping of the river.
In addition to improved drainage, the area will benefit from increased commerce and trade as the cleared channel would allow for larger vessels to enter the river to transport produce and lumber.
“In the past when the channel was cleared we had vessels to take produce directly out of the Pomeroon to Trinidad and Georgetown and that has ceased because of the siltation,” DaSilva said.
She noted that the dredging of the river will also allow sawmill operators in the Pomeroon to use the river to transport their lumber, rather than using the roadways.
The contract for the project was awarded by the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) to Gaico Construction and General Services Inc in April this year.
Works commenced approximately one month ago and the contractor is currently engaged in backhoe-style dredging where excavators are used to remove the mud in preparation for the dredge to arrive, DaSilva said.
Some six miles from the mouth of the river is being dredged to a depth of three metres.