$117.8M disaster response multi-purpose centre for CDC headquarters
A $117.8 million disaster response multi-purpose centre will be established within 24 months, at the Civil Defence Commission’s (CDC) headquarters, Thomas Lands, Georgetown.
To effectively manage disasters, the 6,400 square feet edifice will allow for the centralisation of storage and facilitate easy loading and offloading of disaster supplies.
The contract to begin construction was inked on Monday, at the CDC head office, between the Office of the Prime Minister and the contracting service – Avinash Contracting and Scrap Metal Inc.
Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, M.P, said capacity building and investment in infrastructure is foremost important, if government must approach disaster management in a comprehensive manner.
In 2015, the then PPP/C Government had commissioned an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) valuing some US $1.2 million at Timehri, which serves as the Alternate National Emergency Operations Centre for emergency management.
Government also commissioned an over $112 million Regional Disaster Management Center at Lethem, Region Nine, November last.
The wide-ranging focus is to have similar disaster response centre in all administrative regions and to train regional officials and staff how to be first responders to any tragedy.
When government took office in 2020, several facilities including the Sophia Exhibition Centre, Cliff Anderson Sports Hall and the National Gymnasium were utilised as bonds for COVID – 19 relief.
PM Phillips said government wants to desist from borrowing holding spaces to save supplies and therefore, the new warehouse is a priority towards the transformation.
“The Government of Guyana has seen it fit to include in this year’s budget funding for this project and that why we are here. The Government of Guyana in the past has facilitated financing for many projects and it is my wish that this project must be managed better than the last project.”
“As we go forward with this project that will make the CDC better able to do its job to be more effective and efficient, it is important that we manage this project both the contractor and the consultant,” PM Phillips added.
CDC’s Director General (ag), Major Loring Benons, explained that the building will provide adequate space for packing of hampers and convenient access to the staff and general public during emergency response activities for the delivery, packing and uplifting of relief provisions.
“The signing of the contract is a concrete effort made to strengthen our ability to effectively respond to disasters. We continue our commitment to support those affected by disasters. This ceremony reaffirms our commitment to support effectively and respond to disaster,” Major Benons stated.
Meanwhile, the building’s general floor area for storage is 4,800 square feet and will include some 800 square feet of administrative offices. There will be a cold storage section of 800 square feet and an elevated storage area of 1600 square feet.
The scope of works will include re-enforced concrete pad and strip foundation, with six-inch core filled hollow block walls. The superstructure comprises universal steel beams and columns, with a steel frame with pre-painted roof sheeting.
The supervisor consultant contract for the major undertaking was awarded to Innovative Engineering Consultancy Service to the tune of $9.1 million. Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy also witnessed the signing ceremony.