WCB residents welcome commitments by Agri. Minister to improve drainage

-works scheduled to commence in one week to clear channels

Residents of  Numbers Five, 28, 29 and 30 Villages on the West Coast of Berbice (Region Five) on Saturday, came one step closer to receiving better drainage which will ultimately increase production and less flooding.

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha while addressing residents at Number 28 Village, WCB

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha announced that a series of much-needed drainage works would commence in the area within a week.  He made the announcement after residents appealed for assistance for the clearing of several drains and canals.

Several residents, most of whom were farmers, told the minister that there was an urgent need for the work. One farmer from Number Five Village informed the minister that works were done in the area a few months ago, but were not sufficient as the contractor did not complete cleaning the entire canal.

A resident from No. 5 Village, WCB while raising an issue during the meeting with Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha

Another farmer who attended the meeting at Number 28 Village said he has been residing in the village all his life but this was the first time an Agriculture Minister visited the area to engage them. He also spoke about the need for work to be done on the main and connecting drainage channels in the area.

Other farmers and residents also told the minister that they suffer from flooding because the channels have been blocked for some time.

After listening to the farmers’ concerns, Minister Mustapha informed them that within a week a machine will be sent to the area to commence the works. He also told them that a work programme will be developed to ensure the canals are maintained to minimize future flooding.

A farmer from No. 28 Village while raising an issue during the meeting

“As a government, it is important for us to ensure we work with various communities across this country. When it comes to agriculture, we will ensure everyone interested in the sector receives assistance because when you produce and the sector grows everyone benefits. So, within a week a machine will be made available to clear the dam and any other area that needs drainage we’ll work with you to have those works done. I will also send a team of technical officers to do an assessment in the area to see what other assistance we can give you to improve your farming,” the minister noted.

In addition to drainage works, Minister Mustapha informed farmers that additional assistance will be given through the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) and the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA).

Residents also told the minister that the infrastructure in the village, more so the roads, needed urgent attention. Minister Mustapha informed the residents that he would engage the Ministers of Public Works on the matter.

Minister Mustapha also appealed to the residents to work along with the government to improve the village economy. He told them that they should not allow petty politics to deter them from accepting help from the government and that the government was elected to serve all the citizens of the country.