Part of one of the cleared drains in the Netherlands

Lowland residents on the East Demerara Coast (ECD) have praised the swift action by the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) to begin work on several drains and canals in the village in an effort to alleviate flooding in the area.
This comes days after residents met Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha and poisoned their concerns.
Immediately after the community outreach, a mining machine was deployed to the area last Saturday and work is currently underway. Once completed, hundreds of villagers stand to benefit from the approximately 2770 drainage channel rods that will be cleared.
The ongoing work is being carried out at an estimated cost of over $ 2.2 million and should be completed within the next three weeks.
Dutch residents expressed their satisfaction with the Ministry’s swift action to bring some relief to the community.
However, during the meeting, residents raised a number of issues with the Minister and his team, which included the need for work on many drains and canals, major road restoration works and land allocations , as many people are squatting right now. .
The Minister immediately committed a subject to the deployment of a machine to the area as part of a complete upgrade to the community drainage system.

NDIA engineers are examining the work done so far

The machine is expected to remain in the area until all work is complete. The NDIA was also tasked with producing a report detailing the amount of work to be done in the area on a regular basis.
Minister Mustapha told residents that the Government is looking at developing a plan to upgrade the entire drainage system in the country.
He noted that with climate change, rising sea levels and unpredictable weather patterns, the Government had started on the foundation to ensure that a comprehensive drainage and irrigation system was developed and introduced within the next five years.
“Guyana is below sea level so it is the Government’s responsibility to put systems in place to protect the citizens of this country from the effects of flooding. This is why we have begun work on a comprehensive plan to improve the country’s drainage system. I can’t reveal too much now, all I can say is that we will be installing more drainage pumps in these vulnerable areas, as well as scheduling maintenance on these canals and drains. We know for a fact that, before this Government took office, things had been done in a reactive way. You would only see work being done when there was a flood or during the rainy season. As Minister of Agriculture, I will ensure that agencies such as the NDIA are proactive. They will be guided by a clear program of work developed using technical information and stakeholder consultation. This is to ensure that the needs of the people who are about to benefit are considered, ”said Minister Mustapha.
The subject Minister also said that the 2021 Budget will lay the foundation for the Government’s developmental agenda that will see a complete transformation of Guyana’s economy through investments in the country’s productive sectors.

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