Guyana gets US$3mil World Bank grant to improve agri drainage

Winston DaCosta Jordan, Minister of Finance

Areas to targeted include Kuru Kururu, Coverden, Pearl and Sarah Johana

The Government has signed a grant agreement of US$3 million with the World Bank that will help improve drainage in agricultural areas located to the south of here.

The areas to be targeted are Kuru Kururu, Coverden, Pearl and Sarah Johana. The funds will also help better manage water levels and increase the capacity of channels draining the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC). Finance Minister Winston Jordon, who signed on behalf of the Government, thanked the World Bank for supporting Guyana’s “green economy” transition.

He also noted that farmers, commercial and industrial stakeholders on the East Bank, East Coast and Georgetown will soon experience some measure of relief from the financial burden that is often left behind by unexpected floods caused by the vulnerable canal.

He added that the agreement marks one of the tenets of the ‘Green Economy’ as set out President David Granger and recorded in the inaugural Budget presentation of the APNU+AFC Coalition, that the Government of Guyana will do all it can to reduce environmental risks by putting in place systems to ensure that our waterways are conserved for our livelihoods.

He said the EDWC will also be strengthened through the rehabilitation of the Cunha Canal that has not functioned due to years of neglect and hydraulic restrictions.

The World Bank’s country director for the Caribbean, Sophie Sirtaine, who signed on behalf of the lending agency, said the rehabilitation of the Cunha Canal will be essential to improve the flood risk management capacity along the flood-prone East Demerara Coast.

Among the works to be carried out under the three-year project are the rehabilitation of the drainage channel, upgrade of existing sluices, and the construction of a new sluice at the outlet of the Cunha Canal.

Contracts to start works are expected to be signed before the end of this year. Over 20,000 residents along the East Bank corridor are expected to see a substantial reduction in flooding by the second rainy season.

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