President Bouterse Announces Dredging of Suriname River (Suriname)

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Posted January 4, 2019

President Desi Bouterse has announced that the long-awaited dredging of the Suriname River will definitely take place this year. Addressing the community in his televised New Year’s speech on Tuesday, Bouterse said the Saramacca Canal would also be deepened.

The project to dredge the Suriname River has been in the works for years, but for some reason it was always shelved. It concerns deepening the fairway of Suriname’s main river over a span of 66 kilometres, from its estuary at the Atlantic Ocean past the capital of Paramaribo up to the village of Domburg in the south. The intention is to add between six and eight metres to the depth of the river. The Suriname River is 480 kilometres long, reaching deep into the hinterlands of the country.

A deeper fairway would make the Paramaribo harbour more accessible to large container ships with extended draught. Bouterse said that would boost the country’s economy as it would drop the costs of import and export. “One of the direct advantages of this project would be that the fares to transport goods through sea transport would go down, which would in turn drop consumer prices.”

The president went on to explain that dredging the Saramacca Canal would have benefits for the irrigation of Paramaribo. The canal was dug in 1914 and connects the Suriname River with the Saramacca River. It is an important domestic shipping link. Bouterse said that deepening it would help to confront floods. “The outdated irrigation systems are not always able to handle the heavy rainfall, which causes rainwater to become stagnant,” said the president.

He said the dredging of the canal would be accompanied by a water pump project that should help with the drainage and irrigation of agricultural fields.

Source: The Daily Herald