Mahaica River

Last updated

The Mahaica River is a small river in northern Guyana that drains into the Atlantic Ocean. The village of Mahaica is found at its mouth.


It is one of Guyana's principal coastal streams that also forms a rough border between the Demerara-Mahaica region and the Mahaica-Berbice region. The extent of brackish water that has made its way inland has been recorded at 12 miles. The estimated flow in cubic ft. per second is 1,700 (wet season) and 700 (dry season). [1]

The origin of the Mahaica is difficult to trace because its upper watersheds overlap with the lower watersheds of the Demerara and Berbice rivers. The river breaks off into smaller tributaries making it seem "boundless." [2]


Coordinates: 6°43′N57°55′W / 6.717°N 57.917°W / 6.717; -57.917 The river is a well known bird-watching site, as well as home to other wildlife including river otters, howler monkeysand the Canje Pheasant, Guyana's national bird. 150 species of birds can be found along the Mahaica River. [3]


Farming is the predominant human use of the lower reaches of the river. Rice is the main crop. [4] The river is prone to flooding. [5]

Bellamy canal was dug in 1954 to connect Mahaica to the Mahaicony River, as a conservancy for the regulation of the river discharge to avoid flooding in the coastal plain rather than the traditional structure of empoldering small ‘islands’ of land. [6] The Rutherford Canal connects Mahaica to Broom Hall. [7]

Mahaica, Mahaicony, Abary-Agricultural Development Authority was formed in 1978 as a semi-autonomous agency for encouraging sustainable agricultural development between the Berbice and Mahaica Rivers. Its purpose was to be the executing agency for construction of all drainage and irrigation works in Mahaica-Berbice on the north-eastern Atlantic seacoast. Hope Canal was built to alleviate flooding by redistributing water into the Mahaica. It was conceived after the major 2005 Georgetown flood. [8] When the East Demerara Water Conservancy is at capacity, Lama and Maduni sluices release water into the Mahaica River. [9] In 2011, a boulder wall was built to protect agriculture from flooding during high tides. [10]

In 2020, plans for a luxury mega-project along the river was announced. [11]


St. Cuthbert's Mission is a major Amerindian community on the river. [12]

See also

Related Research Articles

Regions of Guyana

Guyana is divided into 10 Regions:

Berbice River

The Berbice River, located in eastern Guyana, is one of the country's major rivers. It rises in the highlands of the Rupununi region and flows northward for 595 kilometres (370 mi) through dense forests to the coastal plain. The river's tidal limit is between 160 and 320 km (99–199 mi) from the sea.

Demerara-Mahaica Region of Guyana

Demerara-Mahaica is a region of Guyana, bordering the Atlantic Ocean to the north, the region of Mahaica-Berbice to the east, the region of Upper Demerara-Berbice to the south and the region of Essequibo Islands-West Demerara to the west.

Rosignol Village in Guyana

Rosignol is a small village on the west bank of the Berbice River in Mahaica-Berbice, Guyana.

Upper Demerara-Berbice Region of Guyana

Upper Demerara-Berbice is a region of Guyana, bordering the regions of Essequibo Islands-West Demerara, Demerara-Mahaica and Mahaica-Berbice to the north, the region of East Berbice-Corentyne to the east, and the regions of Potaro-Siparuni and Cuyuni-Mazaruni to the west.

Ituni Town in the interior of Guyana

Ituni is a town in the interior of Guyana, at an altitude of 100 metres (331 feet). The area grew as a result of bauxite mining in the area.

Canje River

The Canje River, located in northeastern Guyana, is the main tributary of the Berbice River. It runs roughly parallel to the Atlantic Ocean coast in East Berbice-Corentyne, region 6.

The Torani Canal in northeastern Guyana serves to move water from the Berbice River into the Canje River. It was to serve as irrigation for the sugar industry, and subsequently the rice industry.

Abary River

The Abary River is a small river in northern Guyana that drains into the Atlantic Ocean.

Mahaicony River

The Mahaicony River is a small river in northern Guyana that drains into the Atlantic Ocean. Mahaicony village is found at the mouth of the river.

The Railways of Guyana comprised two public railways, the Demerara-Berbice Railway and the Demerara-Essequibo railway. There are also several industrial railways mainly for the bauxite industry. The Demerara-Berbice Railway is the oldest in South America. None of the railways are in operation in the 21st century.

Esau and Jacob village in Mahaica-Berbice, Guyana

Esau and Jacob is a village in the Mahaica-Berbice Region of Guyana. One of the oldest villages on the Mahaicony River, Esau and Jacob was named by Dutch settlers for a pair of twins in the Bible.

Mahaicony Place in Mahaica-Berbice, Guyana

Mahaicony is a community that is made up several villages in East Coast Demerara, Mahaica-Berbice, Guyana. Mahaicony's physical boundaries on the coast is from De Hoop village in the west to Calcutta village in the east.

Belladrum village in Mahaica-Berbice, Guyana

Belladrum is a small community in the Mahaica-Berbice Region of Guyana, on the Atlantic coast, about 15 kilometres (9 mi) east of Mahaicony.

St. Cuthberts Mission, Guyana Amerindian settlement in Demerara-Mahaica, Guyana

St. Cuthbert's Mission is an Amerindian village on the Mahaica River in the Demerara-Mahaica region of Guyana. It comprises approximately 200 households. St. Cuthbert's is regarded by many people in Guyana as the "cultural capital" for Amerindians.

The East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC) is one of Guyana's major water storage and flood control facilities. Over 500,000 residents inhabit the basin that lies below and between the sea wall and the EDWC Dam in a 48 km band from Georgetown to Mahaica. Located in Demerara-Mahaica, the EDWC serves to irrigate thousands of hectares of rice and other crops within this area by storing rain water for dry periods and it also provides one of the primary source of drinking water for the capital city of Georgetown.

Mahaica Place in Demerara-Mahaica, Guyana

Mahaica, also called Mahaica Village, is a town located in region 4 of Demerara-Mahaica in Guyana. Mahaica is often used as a subregion for the adjoining villages near the Mahaica River like Hand-en-Veldt, Good Hope, Chelsey Park, and of course the other Jonestown which is often referred to as Mahaica or its old Dutch plantation name Voorzigtigheid.

Paradise, Guyana Place in Demerara-Mahaica, Guyana

Paradise is a town located in the Demerara-Mahaica region of Guyana, and used to be its regional capital, however the administrative building burnt down in 2006, and the regional capital moved to Triumph.

Fort Wellington, Guyana village and regional capital in Mahaica-Berbice, Guyana

Fort Wellington is a town located in the Mahaica-Berbice region of Guyana, serving as its regional capital.

The 2005 Georgetown flood was a major flood in and around Georgetown, the capital of Guyana. It started during heavy rains in 2004, and came to a head in January, when sustained heavy rains and high tides over-topped the deteriorating water conservancy. Approximately 290,000 people were affected and the economic impact was estimated to be about US$465 million, or 59% of Guyana's GDP.


  1. Worts, G. F. Jr. (1963). "A Brief Appraisal of Ground-Water Conditions of the Coastal Artesian Basin of British Guiana, South America" (PDF). United States Geological Survey . Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  2. Vaughn, Sarah E. (2013). "Between a Promise and a Trench: Citizenship, Vulnerability, and Climate Change in Guyana". COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY. pp. 145–147. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  3. "Wildlife lures nature lovers along Mahaica River". Stabroek News. 2016-09-24. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  4. "Mahaica rice mill gets two-week extension to solve dust problem". Stabroek News. 2012-05-21. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  5. "Second phase of Mahaica disaster management project completed". Stabroek News. 2012-07-11. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  6. "Glimpses of Guyanese History". Stabroek News. 2010-04-29. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  7. "Rebecca's Rust". Stabroek News. 2019-07-21. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  8. "Hope Canal helped to mitigate Region Five flooding – Ramphal". Stabroek News. 2016-06-15. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  9. "Climate Change and Floods, the Uninvited Guests of Guyana". Inter Press Service. 2015-12-04. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  10. "$4.3M boulder wall at Mahaica to relieve overtopping". Stabroek News. 2011-02-19. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  11. "US$1.4b luxury project for Mahaica". Stabroek News. 2020-08-29. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  12. "St Cuthbert's Mission". Stabroek News. 2011-07-31. Retrieved 2021-01-18.