[www.inewsguyan.com] – The Guyana Government says the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) are currently working “assiduously” to alleviate the widespread flooding of rice farming lands on the Essequibo Coast.
According to a press statement from the Office of the Prime Minister, Moses Nagamotoo, over 1000 acres of rice lands between Queenstown and Devonshire Castle have been affected by the flood waters.
The water had accumulated in the backlands over the past several days and excessive rainfall overnight exacerbated the situation.
“The issue was reported to Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo on Saturday morning and he immediately alerted newly appointed Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder. Prime Minister Nagamootoo and Minister Holder dispatched NDIA head Lionel Wordsworth to the affected area and instructed that all efforts be made to bring relief to the affected rice farmers,” the release stated.
It was noted that two pontoons fitted with two excavators each were this morning deployed to Windsor Castle and Capoey where they are being operated to desilt the outfall channels there.
“Regrettably it has been confirmed that the previous administration did not dredge or desilt the outfall channels in the area during the dry season. The excessive silt build up along with various sluices not being operational or fully operational have compounded the problem,” the press release indicated.
Of the eight sluices in the affected area, only two located at Anna Regina and La Union are working satisfactorily. Six pumps are working on a 24- hour basis in an effort to reduce the water level.
Arrangements are also being made for a pump to be taken into the area.