Farmers and residents of Melanie and neighboring communities along the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) have expressed their appreciation for the forthcoming drainage enhancements proposed by the Ministry of Agriculture. The ministry has initiated efforts to desilt key canals in the area which is expected to alleviate drainage issues and contribute to improved living conditions.

Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, engaged with local residents to outline the scope of the planned drainage activities. The groundwork for these improvements was laid when Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo, visited the community to address developmental strategies for both residential and agricultural areas along the East Coast corridor.

During the consultation with Vice President Jagdeo, community members raised concerns about inadequate drainage and sought immediate government intervention to address the situation. Minister Mustapha acknowledged the need to ensure proper access for drainage machinery and explained that cooperation between residents and the ministry is vital to achieve effective results.

Highlighting the need for cooperation, Minister Mustapha remarked, “Access has to be given so that they can get better drainage. I’ve also put some other plans in place so that the machine can maneuver along different parts of the reserve so that we can clean those canals. After speaking with the residents and explaining the scope of work needed to access proper drainage, they have pledged their full cooperation and those works will start tomorrow.”

Sirestsi Bascom, a councilor from the Buxton/Foulis Neighborhood Democratic Council and Chairman for the Melanie Community Development Council, emphasized that the initiative resulted from community outreach and concerns about flooding. Bascom expressed satisfaction with Minister Mustapha’s engagement and praised the productive discussions aimed at devising effective solutions for drainage challenges.

Engineering professionals from the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority had previously surveyed the drainage networks in the area to assess the current conditions. Alongside the anticipated drainage benefits, residents also welcomed the health advantages expected to result from reduced mosquito infestations.

Minister Mustapha revealed further plans, stating that he will revisit the region to convene with local farmers and develop strategies for agricultural advancement. Additionally, he disclosed that the Ministry of Agriculture, through the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority, will formulate a comprehensive drainage plan to guide sustained efforts in the area.

Mustapha underscored the Ministry of Agriculture’s commitment to addressing drainage concerns in Melanie and surrounding communities and emphasised that the proposed initiatives are expected to improve living conditions, enhance agricultural opportunities, and fortify the overall infrastructure along the East Coast corridor.


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