Gov’t to modernise, upgrade infrastructure to enhance water management

Government will continue to modernise and upgrade infrastructure nationwide, to advance water management as strategically guided by the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030.

The first government member to defend the $552.9 billion budget in the National Assembly on Tuesday, Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, M.P, said $13 billion is catered in the financial plan to expand and strengthen drainage and irrigation systems.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, M.P, during the Budget 2022 Debate

Focusing on long-term agriculture infrastructural development, government will establish a Flood and Economic Recovery and Resilience Programme, to build the climate resilience of the agriculture sector.

A sum of $1 billion is set aside for the urgent acquisition of the equipment needed to enhance flood protection and build operational capacity.

Mobile pumps will be placed in strategic flood prone areas, as well as long and short boom excavators, mini excavators and bulldozers will be purchased, to help ramp up flood protection systems.

Plans are also in place to construct major outfall channels in Regions Three, Five, and Six.

The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) has been allocated $11.3 billion to carry out major works.

A sum of $90 million will go towards the construction of a pump station at Charity to provide flood control for 400 families and farmers, draining 200 acres of farmland for cash crop cultivation.

Close to $1 billion will be invested to construct pumps stations at Cozier, A-Line Sluice, Canals Polder, Andrews along the Essequibo Coast; Greenwich Park, West Watooka, Linden and Black Bush Polder. The intervention will service hundreds of acres of residential and cash crops farmlands benefitting.

Over $570 million will also go towards the construction of sluices in the villages of Friendship Wakenaam, Cottage, and Capoey along the Essequibo Coast.

Additionally, about $516 million was allocated to the Mahaica Mahaicony Abary- Agriculture Development Authority for the acquisition of equipment, long reach excavator and tractor worth $88 million.

The sum of $43.4 million will also cover the elevation of three dams for flood control mechanism and effective water use. Minister Mustapha said government’s policies will continue to resolutely build the resilience of the agriculture sector, as it remains steadfast against all challenges.