Adverse weather has put a temporary halt on the earthen works being undertaken as part of the construction of the Hope Canal.
Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud said on Tuesday that a decision was taken to remove the equipment doing excavation work on the site so as to ensure its integrity.
Persaud stressed that it was only the excavation that had stopped and not the entire project since work was still happening on the ground.
The minister said that with La Niña weather patterns expected to last until February, he is hopeful that the equipment could resume work by the second or third week of January.
The $3.6 billion project, which was launched in October, is intended to drain the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC) into the Atlantic Ocean, serving as a more efficient and less destructive means of releasing water from the conservancy.
At the moment, when the EDWC is at a dangerous level, water from the conservancy is drained through the Maduni and Lama sluices and this has caused catastrophic flooding in the Mahaica and Mahaicony areas.