Gov’t prioritises fit-for-purpose boats to bolster water transportation

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill disclosed that the government is seeking to procure fit-for-purpose vessels to enhance Guyana’s water transportation network.

He announced this at the recent sitting of the National Assembly, as he responded to questions regarding the expansion and improvement of vessels traversing Guyana’s waterways.

Recognising the growing need for new boats, the minister underscored the urgency for prompt action, expressing confidence in the effectiveness of vessels specifically designed for their intended purposes.

“The issue here of age is something that all of us in this house must recognise. At this time, fit-for-purpose is what is required while you go to the next level,” Minister Edghill stated.

He revealed that during a recent US trade mission, discussions were held regarding the possibility of supporting the acquisition of ships that could be up for auction in the US market.

Speaking about buying used vessels, Minister Edghill stressed the lengthy waiting time for new ships, noting that “While somebody might want to say you’re buying an old vessel, to get a new one takes two years or even more.”

Meanwhile, Minister Edghill announced that the government has partnered with India’s Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GSRE) to build the MV MA Lisha in record time for shipment to Guyana, showcasing the government’s commitment to upgrading the passenger vessel fleet.

“You have to see what the market has to offer…But we are looking at acquiring fit-for-purpose vessels that will improve consumption [and] time in terms of travel and certainly as a number one priority…Safety,” the minister noted.