Govt’s drainage and irrigation interventions reaping massive benefits
The proactive approach by the Government of Guyana to mitigate the challenges of climate, especially in the country’s agricultural zones, is cushioning the impact of the current rainy season.
Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, M.P, has attributed the prudent management of country’s drainage and irrigation infrastructure, and the injection of more efficient resources as critical components for the prevention of any negative consequence of climate changes.
Two of Guyana’s densely populated agricultural zones were spared the effects of flooding because of the efficient maintenance of the East Demerara Water Conservancy, and the Hope Canal, which brought relief to over 1,000 people including farmers.
Cash crop farmer, Shamraj Maneram lauded the move to advance the drainage capacity in other parts of the country. “If it can benefit Region Four think about it, it can benefit Region Five. The creek cannot take off the amount of water that the Hope Canal is doing,” Maneram stated.
Another farmer, Rabindranauth Dodnauth said, “since the canal was established the place rarely floods. You might get a little bit of water, but nothing significant.”
Some $11.3 billion was allocated to the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) this year. A host of major projects was undertaken to ensure the nation’s drainage capacity and structures are sufficient to handle the rainy season.
Minister Mustapha said similar canals are expected to be established in Regions Three, Five and Six to bring massive relief to residents and farmers there.
“Farmers in other areas are looking forward for us to construct those Hope-like canals and not only one, we will construct like Hope, but a number of those canals will be constructed across the country. Almost US $500 million will be expended to do those canals,” the minister told DPI.
He said the aim is to make significant investments now for Guyana to significantly mitigate flood in the coming years, allowing farmers to be in a better position to advance production.
The government is also working with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to build other critical infrastructure, and procure more machinery, and almost 40 new pumps.
“Because you know sometimes when you drain through the sluice you have to drain on a tidal basis, but when you have pumps it can supplement the sluice and you could have 24 hours drainage,” Minister Mustapha explained.
In the Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary-Agricultural Development Authority (MMA/ADA) Scheme there are currently 17 machines including excavators, and bulldozers to constantly undergo works to meet farmers’ demands.