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Govt executing critical drainage and irrigation works in Linden

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Critical drainage and irrigation (D&I) works are underway in Linden, Region Ten, addressing the aftermath of heavy rainfall that caused flooding in multiple areas.

On Tuesday, the region experienced approximately four and a half inches of rainfall, prompting swift action.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha speaking during the press conference

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, underscored the urgency of the situation during a press conference at the ministry’s office in Georgetown on Wednesday.

The ministry, in collaboration with other agencies including the Ministry of Public Works, has mobilised machinery to desilt canals and engaged in manual cleaning with residents in areas such as West Watooka and Fairs Rust.

“We also received help from BOSAI. They have helped us with two hydraulic excavators to do a number of de-bushing exercises which were supposed to be done by the RDC and the municipality,” the agriculture minister further noted.

While acknowledging that the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) regularly clears the main canals, Minister Mustapha stressed the failure of local democratic organs to maintain internal drainage systems.

He said, “As a result of their failure to clean those drains on time, we had that excessive water accumulated and people were flooded out…Because the work is not executed on time by the local authority, we have to step in.”

He urged these bodies to uphold their responsibility in managing these systems to prevent future issues.

Works are ongoing in affected areas, with plans for further efforts in other affected areas within Wismar Shore – Silvertown, Victory Valley, and First, Second, and Third Alleys.

Manual cleaning and other works will continue in areas surrounding Kara Kara Creek including Spieghtland, Old Kara Kara, Retrieve, and the Oval.

NDIA will continue monitoring and providing assistance to alleviate flooding.

Over the past four years, significant D&I works in Region Ten have seen an investment of $1.595 billion, enhancing farmer access to farmlands and reducing flooding. Some $320.1 million was spent in 2020, $297.7 million in 2021, $198.2 million in 2022, $226.5 million in 2023 and $552.7 million this year.

One of the areas that is affected by flooding in Linden, Region Ten

Notable projects encompass erosion control, excavation works, and the construction of a $38.5 million, 250-foot dam at Coomaka, alongside the ongoing assessment of the $40 million rehabilitation of the Coomacka Mines Flood Control Dam this year.

Additionally, $41.3 million has been allocated for the construction of conservancy dams and the rehabilitation of D&I channels in West Watooka and Linden, while an investment of $116.2 million has been made for the construction of D&I structures in these areas.

Furthermore, an annual expenditure of over $200 million is dedicated to the manual maintenance of drains creeks within the region.

Meanwhile, ongoing efforts include mechanical clearing of farmlands and excavation of drains, totalling $16.9 million in Muritaro village along the Demerara River.

Residents and farmers in Malali are also benefiting from similar works, with a current investment of $16.9 million allocated for the mechanical clearing of farmlands and excavation in the area.

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