Agri Ministry dispatches machinery to clear canals at Hope, Unity
– inundations caused by overtopping
The Ministry of Agriculture will dispatch two machines to Hope and Unity, East Coast Demerara tomorrow to conduct critical drainage works that will provide immediate relief to residents affected by overtopping.
Minister, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha, today, visited the villages to assess the situation and provide solutions. He was accompanied by the Ministry’s Director General, Mr. Madanlall Ramraj and several agency heads.
Minister Mustapha instructed that the machines remain in the district until the residents are satisfied with the completed works. A telephone number was provided for persons to make reports if the works are not conducted efficiently.
“We are trying to stretch our resources. We will send the machine and clean the canal and as you rightfully said, it has to be maintained.”
During his engagement at Unity backdam, he said the Ministry is seeking to provide contracts to residents from the village to clean the canals in their community.
“We will do that and hopefully when the budget comes out late this month or early next month, we can engage the community as a group to clean and maintain these canals,” Minister Mustapha said.
He said based on an assessment, the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute will provide aid to farmers who might have suffered losses. The heads of agencies were also instructed to revisit the locations and provide the necessary assistance to farmers and residents.
At Hope Estate, Minister Mustapha said “a brand new” machine will start work early Thursday and a team from the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority will visit to examine the works. He told residents to collaborate with the Ministry and ensure the projects undertaken are done to their satisfaction.
Minister Mustapha also committed to engaging Minister of Public Works, Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill on matters pertaining to the derelict roads in the area.
The Minister’s visit came one day after he and Prime Minister Hon. Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips visited flood-affected communities at Pomeroon-Supenaam (Region Two). Government officials are expected to visit several communities which are inundated.