$650M pump station for Canal No. 1

(Guyana Chronicle) The Ministry of Agriculture, on Tuesday, awarded a contract to Well Built Construction Services for the construction of a pump station at Canal No. One, West Bank Demerara.
That pump station will enhance drainage across 3,000 acres of residential and farm lands for cash crops and permanent crops.

Pumps are utilised to drain excess water from the land and are especially essential during the rainy seasons when there are torrential showers.
It was reported that a portion of revenue from the country’s oil and gas resources will be spent on building flood mitigation infrastructure for the future as the government moves to comprehensively tackle flooding on the coastland, particularly in Regions Two, Three, Five and Six.

The process to shield the coastland, which is six feet below sea level, from flooding started with a National Consultation on Strategic Flood Protection Measures with farmers, engineers and regional officials.
The government, in a PowerPoint presentation delivered by head of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), Lionel Wordsworth, articulated its plan to mitigate flooding in the identified regions.

The presentation, in essence, seeks to set in place comprehensive plans for each of the identified regions to mitigate flooding, open up more lands for agricultural purposes and reduce losses faced by farmers and residents as a result of flooding.

The works required to enable this include dredging of rivers, building drainage and irrigation structures, building embankments, creating water channels and integrating drainage and irrigation network to enable effective and efficient water management.

Vice-President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, who addressed the consultation, said that the plans will be refined through wide consultation; feasibility studies will be prepared and the government, apart from providing part financing, will move to secure funding from international institutions.

Farmers for years have complained that due to losses from flooding, at times, they are not in a position financially to return to their fields.

The farmers, engineers and regional officials at the consultations, in addition to making suggestions to the government to improve the plans articulated to them, said the vision of the government to comprehensively deal with the issue of flooding was commendable.

The ambitious plans to mitigate flooding on the coastland, Dr. Jagdeo told the gathering, will require an enormous amount of money, and even though developed countries are major contributors to climate change and are reluctant or slow in providing funding for developing nations to respond to the challenges posed by climate change, Guyana will have to act now.

“We have to fend for ourselves while we remain engaged with the global process. We in Guyana, we are not sitting on our hands, we have to ensure that some of our resources are utilised in this manner,” he said.

(Guyana Chronicle)