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High-priority areas in focus to alleviate flooding in 2024- Agri Minister

High-priority areas in focus to alleviate flooding in 2024- Agri Minister

The Ministry of Agriculture has announced that for 2024, desilting and dredging of critical and high priority areas will continue in an effort to reduce the instances of flooding, especially during intense rainy season and rainfall in areas considered to be most vulnerable to flooding.

At an end of year press conference on Saturday, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha was asked about delisting and dredging plans for the first and second quarter of 2024.

Mocha Arcadia, Black Bush Polder, Buxton, Nabaclis, Victoria, Anns Grove, Belladrum, Eldorado Village, Baracara, Linden, Pomeroon, Dartmouth and Queenstown in Essequibo are among the areas and villages which the Ministry has been working with and will continue to work with more aggressively to reduce instances of flooding in 2024.

The minister said that already contracts were awarded for desilting and dredging activities but in some areas, these works cannot begin as the water levels are too low for the machineries to operate. He said that the ministry has been working in the areas mentioned above given the previous challenges those areas experience whenever there is heavy or prolonged periods of rainfall.

At the moment the Ministry of Agriculture has an in-house heavy machinery  capacity of 153pieces and of that number 95 percent of them are in working order. Those machinery includes excavators, graders, bulldozers and pontoons. the non-working machines are services by a number of contractors who operate in close proximity to where those machines are based or operate.

For 2024 there will be additions to the flee which will serve to boost the dredging and desilting capabilities of the Agriculture Ministry.

Flooding over the years has been hammering the Agriculture and Livestock industries with million in losses and damage.

A number of major drainiage canals like the one at Hope, East Coast Demerara are to be built in Regions 5 and 6 according to the Agri Minister during his press conference on Saturday.

Flanked by heads of various agencies and sectors within the Ministry of Agriculture, Minister Mustapha also provided updates on the livestocks, crops and export performance of the ministry among others.