IN continuing the roll out of its capital works programme for 2023, the Ministry of Agriculture, on Monday, signed a number of contracts to the tune of $1.8 billion for the rehabilitation of several drainage facilities across the country.
Of the Six contracts signed, the ministry’s Agriculture Sector Development Unit signed two contracts with General Engineering Supplies and Services Inc. and CEMCO totaling close to $1.3 billion for the rehabilitation of the Liliendaal and Ogle Drainage catchment areas in Region Four.
This project, which is funded by the World Bank, will see the reduction of flooding in vulnerable areas along the coastland.
It is anticipated that once those works are completed, the pump stations will be able to indirectly impact the entire region through its improved operations, monitoring and emergency preparedness.
Additionally, two contracts were signed under the purview of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) for the construction of a drainage facility at Palmyra in Region Six and the construction of a revetment along the Lamaha Canal, in Georgetown
Those contracts were awarded to NP Investments and M Sukhai contraction services to the tune of $57 million and $19 million respectively.
Meanwhile, the National Agricultural Research and Extension institute (NAREI) also signed a contract with Agrosol totaling some $185 million for the construction of 100 tunnel houses.
The final contract was inked with the Agriculture Sector Development Unit and Anil Lalsa Construction for the construction of an office and laboratory to support the Guyana Food Safety Authority (GFSA). This $199 million project will see Guyana’s food security efforts being expanded.
Minister Mustapha, in his address during the simple ceremony, said that the projects will be executed to form part of the government’s overall development agenda for the sector.
“This project from the World Bank is a continuation of the government’s partnership with the World Bank to improve the drainage system in vulnerable areas,” Mustapha said.
With adverse effects of climate change, the government is continuously working to upgrade the country’s drainage system.
“Through the years, we would have seen a number of areas that were flooded in 2005 and then in 2021 we would have suffered the most devastating flood in the history of our country… so as a government, we have been very cognisant of the fact that we have to improve our drainage systems,” Minister Mustapha said.
He added: “Over the last two and half years, we have seen a number of pump stations, new pumps, canals, kokers, sluices and other areas that have been rehabilitated and as we are improving the D&I and the flood risk management aspect of our country, we are seeing more and more development especially in the agriculture sector.”
Meanwhile, Diletta Dorettie, the World Bank’s representative to Guyana, said the financial organisation is committed to and will continue its support towards Guyana’s efforts in its Flood Relief Project.
“The World Bank is supporting the Government of Guyana by providing technical assistance with the development of a complimentary masterplan related to the Georgetown area which will be completed shortly,” she said.