Firma del contrato de la fase 2 para la rehabilitación del entorno acuático de East Demerara
A US$3.8M Grant Agreement, exchange of notes and records of discussions for rehabilitation works (component 2) of the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC), were today inked by Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett and Japanese Ambassador H.E Tatsuaki Iwata.
The ceremony which was held at the Foreign Ministry’s South Road office will see the implementation of civil works to complement existing works which were undertaken during component 1 of the project. Eight excavators and two pontoons were procured under this initial phase.
Minister Rodrigues-Birkett while underscoring the importance of the agreement, said that it inculcates not only a commitment on behalf of the Japanese Government to fulfill a promise made in 2007, but testimony to the ever strengthening relations the two countries share.
“Notwithstanding the physical distance between our two countries, we value the friendship that exists and, we continue to grasp every opportunity to collaborate not only at the international level but at the bilateral and regional levels and one such area is climate change on which both nations share similar view,” she said.
The agreement which saw the first phase finalised in March this year and is being undertaken at a cost of approximately US$8M; will ensure that the country adapts to the effects of climate change which have severely affected its economy in the past.
Guyana and Japan have successfully collaborated on several projects in the past including the construction of the New Amsterdam Hospital, training of personnel and the deputation of volunteers in the areas of agriculture and health.
Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud, said that the project is significant to the country as the EDWC can be considered one of the most vulnerable and, if not taken seriously can lead to widespread destruction.
“This project has been in the making and is as a result of our President’s interaction with the former Prime Minister of Japan and we were very happy that Japan is willing to support Guyana’s effort in terms of climate change adaptation,” he said.
According to the Agriculture Minister, while approximately 300,000 people and 17,000 hectares of prime agricultural lands are vulnerable, 85 percent of economic activities take place within the areas and as such, managing the facility remains a priority of Government.
The project which will aid in the better management and operation of the Conservancy has seen several pieces of equipment being deployed to the area to assist in development works.
“The earlier agreement provided for eight excavators and two pontoons and, the procurement process has started and we anticipate timely delivery because as we speak we are in need of the equipment to carry out the reinforcement of the embankment,” he said.
The work will also complement the Hope Canal project for which a further $800M has been provided by Government. The project which is approximately 14 percent completed will significantly aid in climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Iwata said that the project will have an overwhelming impact on sea level rise. A commitment was also made to ensure its speedy completion.
On October 1, 2010, President Bharrat Jagdeo and Minister Persaud witnessed the commencement of work on the new relief channel at Hope/Dochfour at the EDWC. It is expected to significantly change the circumstances of people in East Coast Demerara communities who have suffered from flooding for decades.
Over the years, Government has been embarking on initiatives by taking a proactive approach in offering assistance to communities affected by uncontrollable natural phenomena such as flooding and El Nino.
Also witnessing the signing ceremony were; Deputy Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Naotaka Tamaguchi; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture George Jervis and Chief Executive Officer, National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), Lionel Wordsworth.