Gov’t to inject $19.7B for drainage, irrigation work this year

The PPP/C Administration will be investing a whopping $19.7 billion into the construction of new drainage systems in several communities, as part of efforts to counter flooding during heavy rainfall.

The move by the administration is a response to the recurring flooding, which is particularly severe due to the country’s low-lying coastline.

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, made the disclosure while presenting the 2023 fiscal package to the National Assembly on Monday.

To resolve the problem, the government plans to construct new pump stations at Meten-Meer-Zorg, Jimbo Grove, Belle Vue, and Letter Kenny, the finance minister asserted.

Additionally, money will be injected into upgrading other drainage and irrigation systems across the country, including those at Amazon, Nabaclis, Golden Grove and Buxton.

This marks an increase from the previous year of $19.1 billion for drainage and irrigation works, benefitting thousands of acres of land.

“We procured over 100 tractor-driven pumps, we commissioned over $125 million in machinery, we fulfilled the long-standing demand to begin dredging the Pomeroon River and advanced works, construction, and rehabilitation of pump stations work at Cottage, Black Bush Polder, Canal Number One, A Line Sluice, Charity and Cozier,” Minister Singh underscored.

Also in 2022, work commenced on the designs and studies for replicas of the historic Hope Canal drainage system, a key structure that helps with drainage on the East Coast Demerara (ECD), in Regions Three, Five, and Six.

Minister Singh explained that the projects will add scale and resolve drainage challenges in Regions Three, Five and Six.

To ensure Guyana benefits from long-lasting structures that could withstand the impacts of the climate crisis, the finance minister emphasised that the government is also focused on building climate-resilient infrastructure.

The works on these projects are expected to progress in the coming months.

The government’s investment in drainage and irrigation systems is an important step in addressing the issue of flooding in Guyana since taking took office in August 202o.

 The significant undertakings outlined will improve the livelihoods of those living and working in affected communities.

Budget 2023 is being presented under the theme, “improving lives today, building prosperity for tomorrow.