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– to ensure effective management of conservancies

Minister of Agriculture, Hon.  Zulfikar Mustapha, today, installed the Boards of Directors for the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC) and the Boerasirie Water Conservancy (BWC) in the boardroom of the Ministry.

Mr. Lionel Wordsworth has been appointed Chairman of the EDWC Board, while Mr. Yudhisthira Mana will serve as Chairman of the BWC Board.

Minister Zulfikar Mustapha (center) with MoA Director General, Madanlall Ramraj and Chairman of the EDWC Board, Lionel Wordsworth

Minister Mustapha, while addressing the members of the Boards, outlined the importance of having a reliable and effective irrigation system in the agriculture sector. He also charged the Boards with ensuring both conservancies were properly managed.

“We know for a fact that these conservancies are important and we know the importance of irrigation for the agriculture sector in our country. As members of these Boards, you are tasked with the responsibility of managing these important infrastructures as water supply remains critical to ensuring the success of the agriculture sector. You know Government is working aggressively to develop and move the sector forward, and farmers are depending on us to ensure we have proper irrigation so that they can ensure their plants have a constant supply of water. We therefore have to manage these conservancies effectively and ensure that we cater to these farmers,” Minister Mustapha said.

The subject Minister added that the EDWC also serves as a source of potable water supply for the city.

“These conservancies serve to irrigate thousands of hectares of land, for example, in Region Three, the entire GuySuCo operation depend on conservancy in West Demerara. The EDWC acts as a dual purpose too, because it also provides potable water for the city. The Ministry of Agriculture is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring we manage it effectively; we preserve it and we regulate these conservancies in a sustainable way. With the composition of both Boards, I know we have persons with experience, the necessary skill and competency to manage these infrastructures effectively. Government is depending on you to advise [on] proposals and give guidance for the operation of these critical infrastructures. We are on the verge of opening new lands because we want to double production by 2025 so that means we have to provide effective irrigation to the thousands of hectares of farmlands that are available and will become available,” Minister Mustapha said.

The EDWC is one of Guyana’s major water storage and flood control facilities. It serves to irrigate thousands of hectares of rice and other crops within this area by storing rain water for dry periods and also provides about 60 per cent of the drinking water for Georgetown.

The Boerasirie conservancy collects the flow from the Boerasirie River, Warimia Creek, Jumbi Creek and finally the South Durabana creek. It has a total capacity of 166 million m3 and was designed to provide irrigation to about 36 000 ha.

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