The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) functions as Guyana’s apex organization dealing with all public matters pertaining to management, improvement, extension and provision of drainage, irrigation and flood control infrastructure and services in declared areas of the country. Established in 2006 by an Act of Parliament, No.10 o f 2 004, t he Drainage and Irrigation Act, the Authority has developed an institutional structure in terms of water resources management strategy and water use
planning for the primary purpose of locating, evaluating, conserving and distributing water resources of the country for agricultural purposes. In meeting its mandate, the NDIA has focused on improving and upgrading drainage and irrigation services countywide, thereby enhancing the competitiveness of the various sectors and improving productivity. Through the work of the NDIA, the Ministry of Agriculture is ensuring that agricultural land is better protected against adverse weather related events. Over the years, the NDIA has been building its capacity, resulting in a significant number of pieces of equipment being acquired, inclusive of mobile and fixed pumps, long reach excavators, bulldozers and other machinery. The NDIA has adopted a policy of constructing and rehabilitating sluices that are found to be functional through suitable foreshore conditions along the coast and riverine areas, aimed at upgrading and expanding the drainage system. These works allow for expanded acreage of agricultural activities and to better cope with extreme rainfall events associated with climate change. All improved and rehabilitated sluices are now serving areas to withstand in excess of 2.5” of rainfall in 24 hours as compared to 1.5” in 24 hours before. The NDIA’s implementation of an aggressive plan for upgrading and rehabilitation of drainage and irrigation infrastructure to ensure optimum capacity has continued. Rehabilitation of drainage structures have been undertaken in Regions 2 to 10. The NDIA, through its Community Drainage and Irrigation Project (CDIP) has also been supporting vulnerable residential areas by clearing critical drains and canals. About 900 miles of canals and drains are cleared by CDIP workers monthly. In addition, over the last five years, over 900 miles of drains and canals were maintained yearly in Regions 2, 3,4,5,6 and 10 by the NDIA. The Water Users Association has also assisted with the maintenance of the secondary drainage and irrigation systems in key farming areas.