The new pump which will be constructed soon at Three Friends on the Essequibo Coast by Doodnauth Samaroo Investment will be a boost for drainage and irrigation between Affiance to Anna Regina. This new pump when finished will service some 30,000 acres of rice and the housing areas which in the past used to be flooded by overtopping water from the main conservancy canal and heavy rainfall. Some decades ago an electrical pump was constructed at Three Friends because of the volume of water in the canals but for some reasons or the other the pump stopped working.
This has caused thousands of acres of rice lands and the housing areas to be flooded. Cash crops and livestock were also affected, and had to find higher ground. This has caused severe economic loss in the region for decades and farmers suffered a lot financially. A survey was conducted in the 70’s by the Reed and Mallik construction firm from the UK which recommended that the Three Friends pump needed to discharge the high volume of water from as far as Queenstown where several new canals were dug linking to the pump.
More new rice lands and cash crops went into cultivation from Queenstown to Affiance with the expectation that the pump would be repaired and the crops would be saved by efficient drainage and irrigation. I worked with a team of surveyors on this project by Reed and Mallik, it was a well-designed plan by the Hoyte administration. Over 20,000 acres of new lands were opened with new farm-to-market all weather roads and large drainage canals linking the main conservancy canal to the outfall channels within these farming areas. When the Three Friends pump became non-functional the door was blocked with sling mud on both sides.
This caused the newly dug and old canals to be clogged up with weeds causing floods when the new government took office. The new Regional Chairman, Mr Devanand Ramdatt, on his visits to these outfall channels saw the need for some small pumps to help discharge the water. He put down two relief pumps one at Affiance and the other at Three Friends and this has helped the rice and cash crops lands between Queenstown to Three Friends but these pumps still have a small capacity in discharging water from the main canal to the outfall channels.
The new pump which will be constructed soon would be the ideal one to reduce flooding in the backlands and housing areas.