Gov’t interventions reduced flooding
-$5B spent on recurrent works in 2020
Interventions by the Government through the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) have resulted in a significant reduction in flooding in several communities across the regions amid the seasonal rainfall.
By late December, the NDIA had exhausted over $350 million in capital projects, with over $5 billion spent to perform recurrent work.
Several pumps were installed: at Devonshire Castle and Hampton Court on the Essequibo Coast; Den Amstel, West Coast Demerara; Hope, East Coast Demerara; Mora Point in Mahaicony Creek and at Rose Hall, Corentyne.
Additionally, US$3.6 million was spent to procure three mobile pumps. They were installed at South Ruimveldt, Sussex Street and the third at the Cowan Street Sluice (the Cummings Canal Sluice).
The NDIA also upgraded and improved several drainage and irrigation services nationwide.
Minister, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha told DPI recently that in addition to those works completed, a 24-hour task force is working in the fields to make assessments.
“All our systems are in place. Where there are sluices and pumps, they are operable. We have a task force working around the clock, 24 hours, across the country to see what system can be put in place to alleviate these problems.”
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Hon. Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips and Minister Mustapha, visited flood-affected Charity, Pomeroon-Supenaam (Region Two) to assess the damage and to provide solutions.
Minister Mustapha plans to visit other communities which may have similar challenges.
“Residential areas have not been flooded only some farming areas. I have a technical team on the ground. Last week, we went to Black Bush Polder and we have put some system in place there and I was informed that the water level is receding favourably with the intervention we have made.”
Additionally, the Minister has instructed executives at NDIA to quickly address any reports of damaged sluices or pumps and to work with all local bodies to implement measures that would result in the swift drainage of inundated areas.
The Ministry is also providing planting materials, chemicals and fertilisers along with other extension services to cash crop or livestock farmers affected by flooding.