The Ministry of Agriculture’s National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) has commenced a programme to improve and enhance the drainage and irrigation systems in the Mahaica, Mahaicony and Abary areas, a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release stated.
Previously in the first phase, over 500 farmers benefitted and now the NDIA is providing additional support for farmers with 16 hours of excavation works and over 90 HDPE tubes to improve the drainage and irrigation systems in farming areas.
According to the release, these works are already in progress and are being undertaken on the right bank of the Mahaicony Creek as well as Esau and Jacob.
The works undertaken include excavation, and empoldering as well as the clearing of internal drains on farmlands.
The NDIA is currently constructing an internal flood embankment to prevent overtopping of the Mahaicony River during periods of heavy and prolonged rainfall. The embankment would be approximately 2500 rods long from Mora Point to First Savannah and works are currently underway.
In addition, the NDIA is undertaking the spraying of the Mahaica and Mahaicony Creeks to eradicate weeds to facilitate the free flow of water.
Dredging of the mouths of the Mahaicony and Abary Creeks has also been undertaken using the NDIA pontoon and excavators for the rainy season.
In March this year, a $166M sluice and outfall channel at Retrieve, Mahaicony was commissioned that was constructed parallel to the Mahaicony River and will provide increased drainage capacity to farmers and residents on the right bank of the Mahaicony River during rainy periods.
And construction of a $104M sluice at Cottage, Mahaicony is being undertaken and is 80% completed. The sluice would drain excess water from the backlands of Mahaicony during rainy periods.
Further at Profitt, Abary, another sluice is being constructed which would drain rice lands. Some 37,524 acres would benefit after completion of the project and construction has already commenced and the contract sum is $133.4M.
With the overall construction of the three sluices at Profitt, Cottage and Retrieve, Mahaicony will see improved drainage of 35,000 acres with less reliance on drainage through the creeks since there would be direct drainage to the Atlantic, the release said.