Works on three new ECD pumping stations ahead of schedule -Agriculture Minister

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, August 3, 2017

The National Assembly this evening voted unanimously and cleared an additional sum of $350Million to facilitate the completion of the three pumping stations at Lusignan, Buxton/Vigilance and Hope/Enmore. Also catered for is the continuation of the rehabilitation of access dams at the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC.)

The interventions are all part of a World Bank (WB) funded Flood Risk Management Programme, which aims at reducing the risk of flooding in low lying areas of the East Coast, Demerara (ECD.)

Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder

The three-components project was allocated $650M in the 2017 Budget to provide for various activities such as the construction of dams for $75M, the rehabilitation of irrigation structures for $20M and the construction of the three pump stations for $453.32M.

Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder told the House that the additional inflow was now sought, given the acceleration of the programme.  He explained that the programme is “ahead of schedule” and, so the government was seeking House approval to have the WB release an additional $350M of the loan funds “ahead of when they should have, next year.”

He explained to the House that the construction of the pumping stations is a “long-term” solution to repeated flooding experienced on the ECD during the rainy season. He told the Members of Parliament (MPs) present in the House, that the Ministry is “putting pumps, where they never were before; on the “lowest spots” on the ECD.

Meanwhile, the House also approved for the Ministry of Agriculture an additional inflow of $380.64M to fund activities under its Rural Agricultural Infrastructure Development Programme and $200.098M, under the Sustainable Agriculture Development Project. The former to facilitate supervision consultancy services and the rehabilitation of a pump station at Mocha, East Bank, Demerara (EBD) and the latter to facilitate additional resources associated with an Agriculture Census.

The activities under the Rural Agricultural Development Programme are covered under a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank while those under the Sustainable Development Project are funded by another from the Inter-American-Development Bank (IDB). Minister Holder told the House that both the projects are ahead of schedule.

The monies approved for the Ministry of Agriculture are part of a Supplementary Appropriation (Financial Paper No. 2 of 2017) of $2.514Billion being considered in the National Assembly to meet the additional expenditure of Guyana, for the fiscal period ending on December 31, 2017.

 

By: Macalia Santos

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