In two weeks, the Upper Nickerie/Wayambo area’s maintenance on the Arawaras lock will be finished. Because of the current extreme drought, the salt tongue in the Nickerie River has spread past the Henar Bridge, making it impossible to pump irrigation water from the river in to plant rice. Near the lock, a significant cut in the bank that was at least 40 meters wide has already been sealed off and will be enlarged and fortified. A pontoon is used to transport all required supplies from the surrounding area.
Minister Parmanand Sewdien of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (LVV) made an orientation visit to the Arawaras lock last weekend. Due to lack of maintenance over the past 15 years, the lock was out of order. This lock was built in 1963 with the intention of pushing water from the Upper Nickerie River to wet rice cultivation. The water otherwise flowed via the Wayambo River towards Coppename.
The water that is currently being wasted will be diverted to the rice fields. The staff house on site has almost been renovated. If everything goes according to schedule, an increase in the water level in the Nickerie River can be expected within a month. Preparations are being made to recruit staff from the village of Konomerume (Donderskamp), which is a 15-minute boat ride away, who, after training, will be employed for the operation and maintenance of the lock and the yard, LVV reports.