Home Letters The PPP Government has always been known for its ability to plan...
I am penning this short letter to say thanks to the forward-thinkers who are once again leading this great nation. As a resident of Georgetown, I do not think I could handle another episode of the 2005 flood.
I say that to say this: the construction of the Hope Canal following that flood has not been given enough praise. Recent flooding across the country and the devastating effects it has had on the agriculture and productive sectors have put some things into perspective for me to some extent. Before I go on, I want to thank President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali for the relief efforts that his government has extended to those who were affected. I was not directly affected, but I followed the news and tried to get a sense of what took place in the most affected regions. Based on those reports, Region Four was the least affected region.
Following the 2005 flood, the then PPP Government saw the need for a massive water relief avenue, and embarked on conducting the necessary studies. These studies were later presented to the relevant officials to secure the resources required for such a huge undertaking.
What some may not know is that, in 2014, that project was recorded as the largest ever funded with Guyanese resources, as it sought to offer a real solution to the risk of the failure of the East Demerara Water Conservancy. The Hope Canal project was, and is still, considered a major engineering construction achievement in this country. Built by Guyanese engineers and workers, it was recorded as one of the most significant inputs made towards addressing climate change challenges in Guyana.
Fast forward to 2021, and the Hope Canal is said to be the main reason Region Four was the least affected by the recent flood. The then PPP Government knew that something like that could recur, and made a conscious decision to put mitigating systems in place. Following the construction of the Hope Canal, the idea was discussed to identify other vulnerable areas for similar structures to be built, but those ideas were quickly shelved in 2015 with the previous government took office.
Now that we are recovering and rebuilding the agriculture sector, both the President and the Minister of Agriculture have said that Government intends to have similar structures constructed in vulnerable areas in the country, to avoid a recurrence of what took place a few months ago.
I welcome such projects. The snowball effect that the recent flood had on the entire economy was somewhat crippling. The Government helped, and is still helping, with the flood Relief Grant, but I believe a long-term solution needs to be put in place, and the ongoing talks the Government is having about building these structures should continue, so that persons residing in those vulnerable areas can benefit.