Road works in the East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six) are moving apace despite delays due to the weather and allocation of supplies, according to Regional Chairman David Armogan.
Currently, 21 roads are being rehabilitated through the region’s 2022 budget, to the tune of $275 million. Roads in areas such as Tain, Edinburgh Scheme, Chesney, Fort Ordnance, Black Bush Polder, Light Town, Canje, and Kildonan among others will benefit from these infrastructural works.
Armogan said that while there is indeed a shortage of crusher run and stone among other raw materials needed to rehabilitate the roads, he is hopeful that it will not deter the region’s development.
He noted that this supply shortage is an issue that will be dealt with shortly to accelerate the council’s 2022 work programme. This approach, he said, is in keeping with the government’s manifesto promise to ensure its citizens gain access to equitable services.
Meanwhile, as it relates to the weather conditions, Armogan said that systems have been put in place to ensure the region is not besieged due to heavy rainfall, resulting in the flooding of rice fields, and other crops like last year.
Some 28,228 households countrywide were affected by this national disaster and as such, a national task force compromising several government ministries and agencies was established to assist those affected.
“We have made a lot of preparations for the rainy season. We have made sure that our drainage system is in proper order which we got sorted before the May/June rainy season began, but regardless of this, if we have high-intensity rainfall, then it would be very difficult to take that [water] off in one day,” he added.
Armogan stressed that the council will remain vigilant in its effort to prevent flooding in the region.
The government’s proactive approach has mitigated these challenges, especially in the agriculture regions, which Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha has credited to the prudent management of the country’s drainage and irrigation infrastructure.
Clearing and cleaning of drainage systems were undertaken by the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) to the tune of $11.3 billion for 2022. This includes the maintenance of the East Demerara Water Conservancy and the Hope Canal.