GINA, GUYANA, Saturday, January 7, 2017
The Ministry of Public Infrastructure will be investing heavily in shoring up river and sea defences during 2017. The National budget has allocated $1.1 billion for capital works in this area.
Chief Officer of the Sea and River Defences Division (SRDD) Kevin Samad said that 16 sea and river defence bids have already been advertised. Works are expected to begin as early as February, Samad told the Government Information Agency (GINA).
At the Ministry’s year-end press conference held at Transport and Harbours ground, Thomas Lands on Wednesday, Coordinator of the Work Services Group (WSG) Geoffrey Vaughn, said the SRDD will continue to advance activities in 2017.
– Construction/reconstruction, rehabilitation and maintenance works on sea defences
– Procurement of equipment and materials for the execution of routine maintenance and emergency works by the WSG’s Force Account Unit.
-Monitoring and research activities and
-Public awareness and community education
These works will be carried out in areas along the Essequibo Coast, Bartica and Pomeroon, Wakenaam Island, Leguan Island, West Coast Demerara, East Coast Demerara, West Coast Berbice, East Berbice and the Corentyne Coast.
Vaughn also pointed out that eight critical projects will be funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) during this year. There will also be emphasis on improving flood protection infrastructure in Regions that are most affected by flooding.
Regions where flood protection infrastructure will be implemented in various lengths are:
The Ministry of Infrastructure will invest $350M in maintenance of sea and river defences across the country.
Meanwhile, the SRDD constructed more than 4,000 metres of new sea and river defences while more than 34,000 metres and 42,000 metres of rehabilitation and maintenance respectively were completed in 2016.
Another achievement recorded by the SRDD in 2016 was the handing over of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Budgeted Support cheque to Minister of Finance Winston Jordan at the 10th EDF Sea Defences Visibility Event.
However, Vaughn pointed that there was a 24 percent shortfall in total expenditure in 2016 due to “delays related to the procurement of consulting services, and finalisation of designs for flood protection infrastructure works under the Sea and River Defence Resilience Project.” A total of $750M was budgeted for project activities under the CDB/ Government of Guyana (GOG) Sea and River Defence Resilience Project during 2016, but only $173.76M was expended.
Additionally, works in 2016 were challenged by the availability of rock materials for sea defence construction, limited river transportation for movement of rock materials, and limited number of experienced contractors with the capacity to implement major contracts, Vaughn explained.
Areas the department focused on in 2016 include:
-Sea defence construction, rehabilitation and maintenance
-Procurement of equipment and materials for the execution of emergency works by the WSG Force Account Unit
-Surveys and shore zone
– Monitoring activities and
-Research and development
The following picture depicts geographical locations in which activities were primarily conducted in 2016.
By: Zanneel Williams