─ NDIA Commissions $23.5M Regional Office in Region 5
With increased agricultural production across the country, especially within Region 5 (Mahaica-Berbice), and an increased need for drainage and irrigation management, Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder, today, commissioned a National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) regional office in Onverwagt, West Coast of Berbice.
In his feature address, Minister Holder highlighted that:
“The NDIA manages water in a deliberate and structured manner, looking at the unique needs of each region and allocating resources accordingly. So far, it has regional offices in Regions 3 and 6. While the NDIA has been operating in Region No.5 for many years, it has made a deliberate decision to install a permanent office to expand its direct services in this region. This will ensure the needs of Guyana’s largest rice-producing region for adequate and efficient drainage and irrigation are advanced.”
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NDIA, Fredrick Flatts explained that Drainage and Irrigation matters for Region 5 were being managed from Georgetown. However, he pointed out that “when you have an emergency it is almost impossible to manage. So, based on that, we decided that we want to have an office here – this region is the one where you get the most production, in terms of cattle and rice, and so for us at the NDIA, we place a lot of emphasis and importance on Region 5.”
R. Kissoon Contracting Services constructed the building at the cost of $23.5M. The office is fully furnished with all the necessary equipment and software needed to operationalise and execute the NDIA Region 5 work plan for the benefit of the farmers and residents.
The NDIA has budgeted to invest over $600M in Region 5 in projects such as Mechanical and manual cleaning of 81 miles of drainage and irrigation channels costing $53M. It also include the construction of the Mora Point Pump Station costing $255M that will provide irrigation to 17,500 acres of farmlands during drought periods, the rehabilitation of the Trafalgar Pump Station with the installation of a cascade drainage pump costing $151M, and benefitting roughly 92,000 acres of residential areas and farmlands by reducing flooding in the area.
With all these projects and plans to extend the Onverwagt Access Road, which will help to improve transportation of produce and increase mobility to encourage even more farming, it was overly necessary for the NDIA to extend its direct presence in the region.