In light of the ongoing flood situation in Mahaicony, Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), residents and farmers of Baiboo and Number 10 Village in De Hoop Branch Road, Berbice, have noted that the construction of the Hope Canal has spared them from the heavy flooding they experienced in the past.
One of the eldest women in the community, Salika Hussein expressed that the project was a blessing to the community. It was explained that previously, excess water from the back dam was release into the farm lands of residents.
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, who met with flood affected farmers and residents in Region Five last week opined that the project’s cost was justified.
“That Hope Canal made a major difference; it has paid back for itself. In two years that will probably pay back for all the crops that weren’t destroyed; it saved a lot of money for people,” the former Head of State noted.
Last week, reports had stated that homes and livestock in Baiboo were threatened but most of the flood waters have since receded, unlike many communities in the Mahaicony area. Residents and farmers of Number 10 Village also noted that they have been largely spared from the flooding in the region.
The Hope Canal Project allows excess water from the East Coast Demerara Water Conservancy to be drained into the Atlantic Ocean via an eight-door sluice. The project cost some $3.6 billion.
The Project came into being after the 2005 floods, where excessive rainfall resulted in Regions Four (Demerara-Mahaica) and Five experiencing massive flooding. Robert Persaud who led the Agriculture Ministry at that time, through the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) had conducted exploration of the Northern Relief Channel with the intention of improving the standards to withstand the intensity of further hydrological disasters.