Gov’t to expend $115B on D&I, climate resilience in 5 years – GS Jagdeo

The government will be investing a staggering sum of $115 billion during its tenure to improve the nation’s drainage and irrigation structure to make the country more resilient to climate change.

The investment will fund several significant projects, including the construction of major outfalls like the Hope Canal, in Regions Three, Five and Six, and the rehabilitation and upgrade of 63 sluices and kokers across the country through a World Bank programme.

General Secretary of the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), Dr Bharrat Jagdeo engaging media operatives

General Secretary of the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), Dr Bharrat Jagdeo highlighted the government’s strategic approach towards increasing flood management capacity in light of attempts by the opposition and certain sections of the media to discredit the government’s efforts.

“If we don’t speak about what we’re doing, the media and others, they only focus on the problem with one or two contracts and they don’t see the big picture and the efforts of this government and the comprehensive plan we have to deal with adaption, drainage and irrigation [and] the agriculture industry,” Dr Jagdeo bemoaned.

The three major outfalls will be constructed to the tune of $26 billion while US$47 million will fund the rehabilitation of the sluices.

Expanding further on the benefits, the general secretary pointed out that in Region Three, 28,000 acres of land, 214,000 acres in Region Five and 188,000 acres of land in Region Six will benefit from enhanced drainage and drainage.

Dr Jagdeo also said there are currently 19 pumping stations being constructed across the country with 37 new pumps to be installed, benefitting over 140,000 residents and farmers in agricultural areas.

Moreover, 40 new mobile pumps are being procured directly from the manufacturers that will be moving around to swiftly address flooding in various parts of the country. These pumps will add 2840 cubic feet per second pumping capacity.

“If you add all of this, in the five years we will be budgeting around $115 billion in the period we’ve been in office, a $115 billion to improve drainage and irrigation structures and to make our economy more resilient to flooding because of climate change…compare that to $25 billion under APNU,” the general secretary informed reporters on Thursday.

He added, “…we lose sight of that this government is investing in people and ensuring that we are preparing for adaptation. We lose sight of the fact, that we’re adding by these 37 pumps, 5260 cubic feet per second pumping capacity…that’s a massive amount of water that you can get rid of, we lose sight of that.”

The government’s blueprint for enhancing climate resilience is outlined in the expanded Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS2030); revenues earned from the sale of Guyana’s forest carbon will be utilised to fund climate resilience projects.