The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) yesterday signed a US$3,602,014 contract to have 12 new pumps supplied within the next twelve months.
A release from the Ministry of Agriculture said that the agreement was signed during a ceremony in the Ministry’s main boardroom between the Authority and Apollo International Limited (AIL), an Indian company.
With the installation of the high capacity fixed and mobile drainage and irrigation pumps, 37,780 acres of farm and residential lands in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five and Six are to benefit, the release said.
Agriculture Minister, Noel Holder reiterated his Ministry’s efforts at reducing the risk of flooding.
“Guyana is highly vulnerable to flooding, particularly in the coastal areas which are below sea level. The Ministry of Agriculture, through the NDIA has been concentrating heavily on water management given the fact that the majority of Guyana’s agricultural activities are practiced in its low lying coastal regions. We have reorganized the NDIA to manage water in a more deliberate and structured manner, looking at the unique needs of each region and allocating the resources to implement relevant plans.” Holder said.
Funding for the pumps was acquired under an India Line of Credit.
Chief Executive Officer of NDIA, Fredrick Flatts said that the authority will soon finalise the design aspect for the new Pump Stations.
“The contracts for the designs were awarded for six of the seven pump stations and construction is scheduled to commence in the third quarter of 2018. We anticipate that the designs for these pump stations will be complete within the next four weeks so that we can commence advertising for the construction of the pump stations.” Flatts stated.
According to Holder, “Approximately 1,242 rice farmers and many other residents from Charity to Zorg-en-Vlygt in Region 2 will benefit from a 50% reduction in flooding of their front lands. In Den Amstel (region 3), 3,500 acres in the backlands will be available to rice and cash crop farmers to cultivate in 2019. In Hope (region 4) and Rose Hall (region 6) the fixed pumps will replace existing mobile pumps allowing for increases in efficiency and
reduction of flooding by 50%. Further, in Nootenzuil (Region 4), a 75% reduction of flooding events will be realized by the installation of this pump. Lastly, at Mora Point in Region 5, the new pump will be used for irrigation benefiting at least 502 rice farmers in that catchment area. Moreso, it is projected that there will be a 35% reduction in losses during periods of drought.”
Further, the three mobile pumps that are being acquired under the said agreement will be added to the list of equipment used to provide drainage services to Georgetown and its environs. The release said that emphasis is being placed on improving drainage in areas like Church Street, Sussex Street and South Ruimveldt, This intervention will result in an 18% reduction of flooding occurrences in Georgetown, the release said.
Apollo’s representative at yesterday’s signing was Ajay Jha who had previously been here on behalf of the company Fedders Lloyd which had been engaged for the now scrapped Specialty Hospital. His appearance for this contract will likely raise eyebrows.