Budgeted sea and river defence works to commence shortly
DPI, GUYANA, Monday, March 12, 2018
Given that most of Guyana’s population resides on the coast, the government remains committed to constructing and rehabilitating sea and river defence structures to protect its citizenry.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, during a recent post-Cabinet briefing, highlighted that several contracts that have been awarded will see over ten Lots of sea and river defence works executed from Regions Two to Six.
The minister noted that these projects were already in the pipeline before the recent flooding of several West Coast of Demerara communities after unusually high tides overtopped the seawall.
“The high tide matter occurred between February and March, the contracts would have been in gestation long before that. These are expenses which had been planned, budgeted and are now being executed. This is a programmed approach by the state to provide adequate sea defences for the persons who live along the coast,” Minister Harmon explained.
Lot One caters for construction of sheet pile revetment and boat ducking structures at Supenaam – Potaro Siparuni (Region Two). The other lots will see the construction of rip-rap river defences at Aurora and Warousi, Westbury along the Essequibo Coast; Zeelandia, Belle Plaine, Melville and Sans Souci in Wakenaan and Canefield Leguan, Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region Three). Similar works will be executed in areas on East Bank of Essequibo and Corentyne, East Corentyne Berbice (Region Six) among others.
In addition to protecting citizens and their livelihoods, these works are aimed at strengthening the identified areas. Over the years, due to severe erosion and other illegal activities occurring on the coastline, the number of mangroves and other natural sea defence barriers have been severely diminished
In the 2018 National Budget, the sum of $2.4B has been allocated for the improvement of sea defence countrywide.
By: Ranetta La Fleur