Mobilisation works begin soon for Hope-like canals in Berbice regions
The Ministry of Agriculture will be undertaking massive drainage and irrigation works next year, prioritizing work on Hope-like canals in Regions Five and Six.
The Hope canal on the East Coast of Demerara was built to drain excess water from the East Demerara Water Conservancy into the Atlantic Ocean to avoid pumping that excess water into rivers such as Mahaica and Mahaicony, causing flooding for those riverain communities.
Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha Saturday said no effort is being spared by the National Irrigation and Drainage Authority (NDIA).
“In another two weeks, works will begin and we will start the construction of the embankment for the Hope-like canals in Regions Six and Region Five.
“Before the end of February 2024, we will start construction of the Hope-like canals in both regions where we have a number of the mega structures being built across Regions Five and Six and a number of other structured support structure things like pump stations, sluices,” he said at a press conference at his Georgetown office.
But this is not all. The minister said there will be works at other areas to avoid flooding.
The ministry currently has 153 pieces of heavy-duty machinery capacity, with 95 per cent of them in working order.
The minister said for 2024, the fleet will be increased to meet demand and boost dredging and desilting capabilities.
The minister said a number of new excavators were bought, including both the long reach and the mini excavators, and these and have been working in various parts of the country.
“We have a maintenance contract where we have a firm doing these repairs across the country.
“We will continue increasing the fleet…five amphibious and another two for the Islands of Wakenaam and Leguan and we will be building another pontoon with two other excavators for the Pomeroon,” Minister Mustapha said.
Regarding desilting, the minister said that the ministry faces a major challenge during the dry season.
Some of the areas that the ministry has been working at include: Mocha Arcadia, East Bank Demerara; Black Bush Polder in Berbice; Buxton, Nabaclis, Victoria, Anns Grove on the East Coast Demerara; Belladrum and El Dorado at West Coast Berbice; the town of Linden, Pomeroon and Dartmouth and Queenstown on the Essequibo Coast.
The minister said major investments are ongoing to reduce flooding and ease the minds of residents living in these areas.