By Staff Writer
The Ministry of Agriculture disclosed on Thursday that $12.4B was expended last year by the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) to boost its capacity as well as execute critical projects country-wide for 2021.
Guyana Standard understands that $8.4B was dedicated to recurrent expenditure for drainage and irrigation works across the country. As part of this sum, the ministry told Guyana Standard that $1.5B was spent to carry out emergency drainage works which included clearing and desilting clogged waterways, the operation of both mobile and fixed drainage pumps to drain flooded farming and residential areas, as well as rehabilitating and reinforcing embankment structures in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, and 10.
For capital expenditure, just over $4B was spent to cover the procurement of heavy-duty machinery as well as the construction of drainage and irrigation structures.
Expounding on other projects carried out by NDIA last year, the ministry said a total of 2487 contracts were executed which included a $497,464,600 contract for the supply of a Cutter Head Dredge.
The Ministry of Agriculture also disclosed that farmers in the Pomeroon were able to benefit from a block drainage programme which will continue in 2022. So far, approximately 200 farmers benefited from the programme.
In keeping with the government’s goal to double agriculture production and reduce food import bill, NDIA’s work programme also focused on carrying out drainage works in communities that had a clear interest in farming.
Guyana Standard understands that the drainage authority was able to carry out critical drainage and irrigation works to drainage structures in Nabacalis, Friendship, Victoria, Cove and John, Hogg Island, Wakenaam, Leguan, Zeelugt, Meten-Meer-Zorg, Buxton, Canal Polders, Black Bush Polder, among others, after years of neglect.
Through collaborations with new and existing Community Development Councils (CDCs) Water Users’ Associations, NDIA also implemented routine drainage maintenance programmes whereby community stakeholders and beneficiaries were contracted to maintain the waterways in their communities.