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Several projects will be undertaken by the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), this year that will boost infrastructure to prevent flooding.

The institute’s Mangrove Restoration Project received a $25M boost from the government in the 2016 National Budget. This money will be expended on the restoration and management of natural coastline barriers.

NAREI’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Oudho Homenauth, told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that this money will fund the construction of a sea defense structure at Lusignan, East Coast Demerara along with the expansion of the existing structure at Walton Hall, Essequibo Coast by an additional 100 meters.

He added that NAREI has also received money from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) that will be used “to do some work on the East Coast of Demerara coastlines, along with the planting of mangrove trees to strengthen sea defense.”

The tenders for these projects will soon be advertised, and works will commence shortly thereafter.

The Guyana Mangrove Restoration Project is funded through a partnership between the Government and the European Union (EU). The project which commenced in February 2010 is implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture through NAREI.

The project not only focuses on the planting of mangrove trees, but seeks the commitment of citizens towards the protection and development of sustainable mangrove forests. This has seen the establishment of various flood risk prevention infrastructure. NAREI’s CEO explained that, “we would have established different types of groynes, you have the geotextile tubes, you have the rubble mount at Mon Repos and Cane Garden, we have brush wood dams…at Buxton and Walton Hall, Essequibo Coast.”

Areas including Chateau Margot, Victoria, Buxton, and Hope on the East Coast Demerara, along with Number 47 village, West Berbice, and Leguan, and several villages along the Essequibo Coast have benefited from improved sea defense under this project. “Before in these villages, you would have seen them without mangroves, now people are telling me we have planted too many mangroves,” Dr. Homenauth noted.

The project has contributed significantly to flood risk management along the country’s coast land, by targeting areas for administrative and capacity development, research, community development, mangrove restoration, monitoring and awareness and education.

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