The Drainage and Irrigation sub-sector of the Agriculture Ministry expanded its drainage capacity this year, adding 1650 cubic feet per second (cu.ft/sec) and augmenting its pumped drainage capacity to 40 million gallons per day.
According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) report the 16 per cent expansion of the pumped drainage capacity is the highest increase in pump capacity in a single year, bringing Guyana’s total drainage capacity to 10163 cu.ft/sec. The information was drawn from an end-of-year press conference held by Minister of Agriculture, Dr Leslie Ramsammy. This year, pump stations were operationalised in six regions, namely at Three Friends in Region Two, Windsor Forest, Patentia, and Canal Polder One in Region Three, Paradise in Region Four, Pine Ground in Region Five, and Number 19 Village, Rose Hall, Number 56 Village and Canje in Region Six.
Between 2014 and 2015, GINA said the ministry plans to spend $2B on the construction of pump stations (cost of pumps not included.) To this end, pump stations at Lima, Region Two, Eversham, Bengal and Number 43 Village on the Corentyne are due to be commissioned next month. A pump station is being built on the eastern side of the koker that will double the drainage capacity in the area at the latter location. In addition, next year the ministry will complete the design and start construction of pump stations and the installation of new pumps at Ogle, Mon Repos and at Hope/Enmore.
“These interventions should see the equalling in 2015 of the pump capacity similar to the input made in 2014,” the report said.
Many questions have been raised about the pumps that were to be supplied by the Indian company Surendra, where exactly they are located and if the project has been completed. The Ministry and the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority have not provided clear answers on this. Surendra has since been sued by the government over another project.
Meanwhile, the long-delayed East Demerara Water Conservancy’s (EDWC) Hope Canal Project located at Hope, East Coast Demerara is expected to be completed on December 31. The bridge has already been commissioned. The canal itself and the regulator are near finished while works are progressing on the sluice. The entire project, except for landscaping and clearing the site are on target for a year-end deadline. On completion, the four-component project is expected to offer “a real solution” should the EDWC fail, GINA said.