Guyana: Government continues to help farmers recover from the effects of El Nino
The Government is spending in excess of $50 M in drainage and irrigation on the islands which includes the construction of a sluice at Waterloo, which costs approximately $42 M. This will be able to drain effectively the 2500 acres of land serviced by the sluice.
In addition, there is a maintenance programme in which excavators are currently working on the islands.
Minister Persaud said that major irrigation canals will soon be constructed to deal with the irrigation problems.
He added that sea defence has always been vulnerable; hence the government is committed to ensuring that sea defence structures and roads are well built to cope with the effects of climate change. This will ensure that residents feel more safe and secure against the surrounding sea.
Minister Persaud recently spoke to the Minister of Public Works, Robeson Benn, who had indicated that government has allocated $249 M to rehabilitate and construct sea defence mechanisms on both islands.
Chief Executive Officer of National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), Lionel Wordsworth disclosed that NDIA has been doing work on Leguan over the past two years and the activities in terms of drainage and irrigation have intensified tremendously.
Wordsworth noted that a number of drainage and irrigation systems have been excavated over this period and $14 M has been spent to maintain these channels on a monthly basis.
He added that government has provided tubes to be put into the irrigation system to control the amount of water that is to be released or retained within the farmland.
Government is providing relief to farmers affected by El Nino and $258 M has been earmarked for the purchase of seed paddy, fertilizers and other materials.