National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) head, Lionel Wordsworth, has now given the deadline for the completion of the $3.6B Hope Canal as year end.
Speaking with Kaieteur News yesterday, Wordsworth said that work has concluded on the embankment channel. He explained that the contractor is now working to conclude the ‘High Level Discharge Sluice’. The official was confident that the entire Hope Canal Project is expected to be commissioned this year end. He, however, could not give a specific date.
However, there is intense discussion with the contractor and project consultant to conclude on several issues. “Every item we are evaluating to put a date on it.”
He disclosed that the ‘Head Regulator,’ the gates that will control waters from the East Demerara Water Conservancy to the Hope Canal, has been completed.
Last week the Guyana National Industrial Company (GNIC) announced that it had completed the construction of the eight sluice gates and accompanying guides for the Atlantic end of the Hope Canal, which is currently under construction on the East Coast of Demerara.
The stainless steel sluice gates were constructed in the company’s shipyard located on Lombard Street, within the prescribed two-month contract deadline.
According to GNIC’s CEO, Clinton Williams, the delicate construction was completed under the close supervision of Gilbert B.M. Corlette, a highly certified and very experienced welding/fabrication Quality Assurance Engineer. The gates and guides have been ready to be transported to their intended locations since the beginning of August.
GNIC was sub-contracted earlier this year by the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) to construct the sluice doors and the guides that will facilitate their smooth vertical movement when the US$15M Hope Canal project goes into operation to alleviate flooding in the Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary (MMA) areas.
Government has been backing the US$15M Hope Canal project, which is funded entirely by the people of Guyana, and when completed, is expected to significantly reduce the vulnerability of flooding in Guyana’s low-lying coastal areas which is under increasing threat from rising sea levels and climate change. The coastland is especially vulnerable because it is below sea level and with large swaths of agricultural lands in the area, concern has increased.
In the past, residents of Hope, Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary and surrounding communities suffered tremendously as a result of flooding.
Work on the four-component project, valued $3.6B, began in 2011 and was expected to be completed in about two years. The project, however, suffered some delays due to issues pertaining to weather and the availability of building materials. The deadlines have been pushed back again and again.
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