$13B set aside to strengthen drainage systems nationwide

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Guyanese could expect massive drainage and irrigation upgrades this year, with a whopping $13 billion set aside to strengthen drainage systems across Guyana.

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh made the announcement Wednesday, while presenting the 2022 Budget to the National Assembly.

From that amount, over $1 billion is budgeted to procure 37 new mobile pumps to be installed along the coast, in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five and Six, in areas identified to be vulnerable to flooding.

“…further, 100 tractor-driven pumps will be purchased to be utilised in all coastal Regions. This will be complemented by the construction and rehabilitation of pump stations at Canal No. 1, A-Line sluice WBD, Charity and Cozier, which will benefit over 9,500 acres of coastal farmlands,” he underscored.

Dr. Singh said the interventions, along with the development of drainage improvement in the Mahaica-Mahaicony district, will benefit over 36,000 acres of farmlands.

Last year, critical drainage and irrigation works were done on structures across the country, in areas such as: Nabaclis, Friendship, Victoria, Cove and John, Hogg Island, Wakenaam, Leguan, Zeelugt, Meten-Meer-Zorg, Buxton, Canal Polders, Black Bush Polder and Pomeroon.

“Emergency interventions by our government brought relief to more than 115 communities that were severely affected by flooding. Government also developed water harvesting mechanisms in the South Central Rupununi; commenced work on pump stations at Adventure, Black Bush Polder, Cottage, Greenwich and Trafalgar; empoldered farmlands at Upper Pomeroon; and procured equipment and pumps to enhance our drainage and irrigation capacity,” the finance minister said.

Additionally, a major study of Georgetown was started to rectify drainage problems in residential areas.

Dr. Singh said government recognises that climate crisis has been abundantly evidenced by the extreme weather pattern and this year’s allocation will spur rapid development to ensure the nation’s lands are secured.