Sunday, February 8, 2009

Jagdeo in talks for donor funding for proposed $3B Hope canal.

Stabroek News news item. 20 January 2009. Jagdeo in talks for donor funding for proposed $3B Hope canal.

President Bharrat Jagdeo said he is in discussion with donors to fund the $3B Hope Conservancy Relief project, but was against releasing any names yesterday since it is still early in the negotiations.

Though expenditure for the project will be reflected in this year’s budget, he disclosed that he is in talks to secure part funding. The President was at the time addressing the media at a press conference at State House.

The Head of State pointed out that the $100M that allocated to affect farmers in areas which have been severely affected by flooding is currently being disbursed and according to him the assistance is not the end of it. He declared that the administration will continue to “hold [farmers] hands throughout the whole process”.

In emphasizing the point about continued assistance being shown to those affected, Jagdeo said, a plan has already been drawn up for the full amount of allocated resources to be used up. He said some $16M had been handed out up to yesterday.

The President pointed out that some of the assistance to farmers would include the distribution of seeds; chemical; fertilizer; veterinary supplies; livestock feed; spraying equipment and fuel among other items, which are part of the plan that have been worked out.

It is expected that will work on the Hope Conservancy Relief project, which will constantly drain water from the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC) into the Atlantic Ocean can begin within six months. Jagdeo has previously insisted that this initiative is being treated as a priority and that certain projects such as the construction of roads will be held back so as to ensure that the project is completed by June 2010.

Currently, water, when it is near the top of the conservancy which can hold 59 GD, is drained through the Mahaica Creek, which affects thousands of residents in the area. About three weeks ago, water from the EDWC was released through the Maduni and later the Lama sluices which added to the rain water which had already accumulated on the land.

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