Torani Canal - the most important Berbice waterway

Kaieteur News
December 13, 2004

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The 14-mile long Torani Canal has been described as one of the most important waterways in Region Six.

According to Regional Chairman Kumkaran Ramdas the Torani Canal links the Berbice and Canje Rivers. It allows for water from the Berbice River to flow into the Canje River.

At the Berbice River end, there is a five-door sluice. The Canje end has four doors. When the flow of water in the Canje River is low, operators open the Berbice River end.

Two years ago, management of the two structures was handed over to the Guyana Sugar Corporation. However the Regional Administration continues to maintain it. Each year the Region ensures a free flow of water in the 44-mile long Canje River. This is done mainly to allow for the transportation of farmers and to allow vessels plying the route to take fuel to the pump stations along the river.

The Canje River is the main source of fresh water in the Region. It supplies water to the Guyana Sugar Corporation Skeldon Estate which has some 12,000 acres; Albion Estate, 20,000 acres; and Rose Hall Estate between 12, 000 and 14,000 acres.

The Manarabisi Rice Cultivation of 17,000 acres and Black Bush Polder with another 17,000 acres also depend on this river.

Pumps have been placed along the Canje River that lead to the cultivation area. At Skeldon there are two. These push the water to the eight-mile long Sandaka Canal then into the sugarcane cultivation area.

At the seven-mile long Manarabisi Canal there are two pumps and three pumps at the seven-mile long Black Bush Polder.

When all these pumps are in operation during the irrigation season, the level of water in the Canje River drops and a volume of water cannot be supplied. At this point, the gate on the Berbice River end of the Torani Canal is opened to allow for the flow into the Canje Creek.

Another function of the Torani Canal is to flush out salt water from the Canje River. This happens during the irrigation and the dry weather.