NDIA to commence works on blocked drains in Light Town

Agri. Minister tells farmers Govt’s assistance to return to land guaranteed

Residents of Light Town on the East Bank of Berbice will soon benefit from a series of works to improve drainage and mitigate flooding in the area.

This was disclosed by Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha MP on Saturday last during a meeting with residents and farmers at the Light Town Primary School.

During the meeting, residents told the Minister that the blocked road drains contributed to flooding in the area. 

A rice farmer while engaging Minister Mustapha during the meeting

Rice farmers at the meeting also told the Minister that they experienced losses as a result of the recent flooding. The farmers used the opportunity to appeal to the Minister for assistance from the Government to return to the land.

Minister Mustapha told residents that a machine would be deployed to the area within a week to commence works on the drains. He also told residents that the NDIA will be clearing the outfalls in the area.

“I want you to form a small committee and the engineer will be back here to work with you. A number of structures and canals have to be built and rehabilitated so this committee will be tasked with indicating which structures need to be done immediately. We need to develop a programme and list the works in order of priority. As soon as I have that I will give instructions for works to commence. The NDIA will also be looking to clear the outfall channels. The pontoon is currently working to clear the Abary outfall. When those works are complete, we will bring the machine here to clear the outfalls,” Minister Mustapha said.

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha

Minister Mustapha also assured farmers that the Government will be assisting farmers with returning to the land. He also told the farmers that officers from the various agencies under the Ministry’s umbrella have been carrying out assessments across the country and that the President will soon pronounce on what form of assistance farmers will be given.“We are approaching one year in office and when you look at where we came from to where we are today with the commitments and promises that we made in our manifesto, we are working to deliver them and we are making great progress. Five years ago, prior to August 2020, we’d seen a decline in budgetary allocations to the agriculture sector. Farmers had to pay more money for inputs in addition to the limited production that they were receiving because of the state of the infrastructure. The previous government didn’t care about the agriculture sector but the PPP/C government understands the importance of this sector. This sector is responsible for feeding the nation and providing food security,” Minister Mustapha said.