After weeks of flooded canals and inundated rice lands, residents of Hampton Court and other Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) areas let out a sigh of relief when the Regional Administration dispatched an excavator to clear clogged drains and a pontoon excavator to clear a sluice and open same.The pumps at Hampton Court, Region Two (Pomeroon Supenaam) fully functionalThis effort brought great relief to residents whose rice lands were under threat as a result of the flood.Several reports were made to the regional office whose initial efforts were unsuccessful in getting the water to recede. However, after the sluice was opened, the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) dredge began works in the area and the water drained off in a short time.A few of the rice farmers who spoke to Guyana Times on Monday stated that the effort is much appreciated but urged that the Administration execute regular draining and irrigation works in the future so as to prevent much downtime for farmers during the rainy season.Thalakdari Singh, who spoke to this publication on Monday, commended the effort as he is now able to access his rice lands that had been swamped for several weeks. “I am very happy about the clearing the agriculture department did. It was a challenge because after they finish the first set of clearing no water drained off but with the NDIA excavator it was better and the lands are now dry. There is no flooding anywhere,” he said.Singh urged the department to maintain regular upgrades and clearing works in the area so that future showers will not affect farmers in a major way. “I would be glad if they could upkeep the works. And not only wait till it’s flooded before they do something. Is weeks and weeks we were swamped and after a group of us went to the outreach, we pleaded with the Minister for assistance and finally we got through,” he added.Another resident, Shawn Persaud, who also spoke to this publication, welcomed the drainage works and echoed calls for the authorities to upkeep the works. He also called on the regional officials to carry out regular inspections in the usually affected areas so as to be aware of when to commence draining before the problem gets out of hand. “We glad for the work but we wish that they could be more proactive in the future. This will save us time and money. Don’t wait till it get so bad,” he opined.Another resident, Farouk Basir, who also spoke to this publication, related that he visited the Windsor Castle, Hampton Court and Devonshire Castle areas on Monday afternoon and the water had been completely drained off all residential and rice field areas. He noted that the pumps were in operation along with the sluices to ensure maximum water is taken off the land. Additionally, since the works were done, drainage was significantly improved and there was no more buildup of water. “The place has been dry since and nowhere is experiencing any flood at the moment. The pump is on and the sluice is closed,” he said.During the Government outreach at Anna Regina last month, several farmers who visited the Ministry of Agriculture’s booth voiced their frustration over the drainage and irrigation issues significantly affecting their rice production.The farmers highlighted how the situation has been costing them as the canals were clogged and in need of urgent cleaning. Another plight was the issue of non-working kokers.The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NDIA, Federick Flatts, had committed to having those issues resolved within two weeks. Further, additional works were to be done to tackle the areas and specific locations related by farmers. “We have our normal working programme and we will continue to carry out our programme, based on what the farmers have said, there are some works that are needed outside of our current work programme and we are planning to visit the areas within two weeks and based on those visits we will seek to execute additional programmes,” Flatts said.