Japan aid for East Demerara conservancy closer

-final survey team due

A fourth Japanese team is expected here this month to conduct a final assessment of the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC) which could result in aid to strengthen its dams.

This follows a US$6.7M Joint Declaration on Enhanced Co-operation in Environment and Climate Change issues made between the two countries after President Bharrat Jagdeo and then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met in 2007, the Government Information Agency (GINA) said in a press release.

The EDWC serves the functions of a flood control structure and a source of irrigation for agricultural lands during the dry season.

Meanwhile Japanese Ambassador to Guyana Tatsuaki Iwata met President Bharrat Jagdeo at State House on Wednesday  to discuss the next step in efforts to strengthen the EDWC and the prospects of reaching a conclusion.

The Japanese ambassador told GINA that Japanese engineering experts are at present mulling whether technological innovation can be applied to the effort.

“If that element is clear it will tell us what kind of construction method will be adopted and will tell us what kind of technology we utilize for fortifying the banks,” Ambassador Iwata is quoted as saying.

According to GINA, upon conclusion of the team’s assessment a final plan will be crafted qualifying Guyana to benefit from the procurement of equipment, earthen works with the EDWC and rehabilitation of critical drainage structures.

This includes possible support for the Cunha Canal which drains the EDWC, even as the government proceeds with the northern relief channel at Hope/Dochfour to increase the discharge capacity of the EDWC. Work is slated to begin on the latter today, the release stated.

In July last year Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud met with a preparatory study mission from the Japanese Government to follow up on support for the EDWC and its associated drainage and irrigation structures.

The Japanese team was headed by Goya Yoshiyuki, the Executive Technical Advisor to the Director General of the Rural Development Department, of JICA. Technical experts from Japan are working closely with the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority to boost its capacity.

The floods of 2005 had resulted in overtopping of the conservancy and prompted action by government to upgrade and strengthen the structure through a number of projects.

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