Taking A Closer Look At The Performance Of The Controversial NDIA

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While the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) has experienced its fair share of challenges like any organization would, an objective analysis of its performance for the year 2015 would certainly show that it has implemented its work plan creditably.
This was manifested with the construction of several drainage pump stations, clearing of numerous canals, and the installation of pumps countrywide.
It was observed that the NDIA improved the drainage network across the country which was a major part of its mandate. As a result, construction of drainage pump stations were completed at Windsor Forest, Canal No. 1 Polder, Paradise/Enterprise, Pine Ground, Rose Hall and GuySuCo No. 66 Village Eversham BBP, No. 43 Village BBP, Bengal BBP, Gangaram, and Lima.
That aside, the primary focus of NDIA continues to be to improve and upgrade drainage and irrigation services countywide, thereby enhancing the competitiveness of the various sectors and improving productivity.
With this in mind, it was observed that NDIA carried out a number of maintenance work during 2015. There was maintenance of approximately 24,350 rods of drainage and irrigation canals within Wakenaam, Leguan and Cane Grove NDC; maintenance of 106,177 rods of drainage and irrigation channels and canals within Community Development Councils areas such as Greenfield, Hope, Anns Grove, Two Friends, Bellfield, Nabaclis, Golden Grove, Haslington, Triumph, Friendship, Kuru Kuru, Mocha, Barnwell North, Bell West, Friendship, Lusignan to Vryheid’s Lust Area, Canals Polder, etc.
There was also maintenance of 129,376 rods of drainage and irrigation channels and canals within Water Users Associations’ areas such as Cane Grove, Golden Grove/Victoria, Blankenburg/ Den Amstel, Vergenoegen/ Naamryck, Lot 52 – 74, Black Bush Polder, Crabwood Creek, Vreed-en Hoop/La Jalousie.
Based on its records, it was noted that the 2015 capital budget of $4.295 billion entailed the provision of $1.701 billion for the maintenance of Drainage and Irrigation (D&I) infrastructure and the operation of pumps, excavators, etc.; $2.051 billion for the construction and rehabilitation of D&I infrastructure; $311 billion for the construction of the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC) channel at Hope/ Dochfour and $232 billion for the rehabilitation of the EDWC structures.
After an examination of its recently updated records, it was noted that NDIA was able to execute its 2015 recurrent work programme according to plan.
The NDIA also continued to work along with the Mahaica Mahaicony Abary – Agricultural Development Authority (MMA-ADA) to bring relief to rice farmers along the coast.
It was discovered, however, that the finance department was faced with a number of constraints during 2015 as a result of a financial audit, resignation of the finance manager and two assistant accounts and issues with transportation.
Furthermore, 2015 also saw Guyana experiencing both flooding and drought like weather conditions which resulted in the NDIA having to undertake a number of emergency operations to aid farmers and residents in general.
In fact, documents reveal that in May 2015, the NDIA was tasked with bringing some level of relief to rice farmers who were suffering from flooded rice lands on the Essequibo Coast.
With the continuing El Nino period, the NDIA was further tasked with conducting continuous works across the country to provide irrigation to farmers given the limited water resources available.
Officials from the NDIA also met with members of the Civil Defense Commission (CDC), GWI and other officials to discuss the way forward impeding the El Nino conditions.
During 2015, NDIA also saw a total of 169 project activities being undertaken under the local capital funded component. 130 of these projects have been successfully completed, with the remaining 38 projects rolling over into 2016.
It was noted by NDIA, however, that one project had to be abandoned due to a shortage in material. Pump station constructions were completed at Windsor Forest, Canal No. 1 Polder, Pine Ground, Paradise/ Enterprise, Joppa, Eversham, Gangaram and Lima.
In addition to completing pump stations, NDIA carried out repairs to a number of sluices, culverts, revetment and bridges.
As it relates to administrative matters, in July the CEO of NDIA, Mr Lionel Wordsworth, proceeded on administrative leave and Mr. Fredrick Flatts was appointed as the acting CEO.
Furthermore, President David A. Granger introduced a National tree planting exercise in October last which saw the staff of the NDIA partaking in the activity by planting trees in and around the compound and around pump stations across the country.
On a lighter note, two NDIA engineers rescued a stranded flamingo from the Essequibo River while conducting routine visits to drainage and irrigation structures.
The animal was brought to the city and immediately donated to the Zoological Park. The NDIA staff also participated in the Ministry’s annual cook off and inter-ministry sports activities.

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