Govt. to address shortfall in material for sea, river defence projects

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, February 1, 2018.

In light of the rapid degradation and erosion of the country’s coastline over the past few years, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure’s Sea and River Defence unit has undertaken a project to restore and fortify areas along the coastline.

Kevin Samad, Chief Sea and River Defence Officer.

“In the sea and river defence sector, over the years, our major challenge has been a steady supply of rocks.” Chief Sea and River Defence officer, Kevin Samad said in an interview with the Department of Public Information(DPI).

According to Samad, a steady supply of materials, such as boulders and rocks are required for this process. However, a shortage of these materials has affected project timelines and caused delays and drawbacks.  The River and Defence official said the scarcity is due to the amount of infrastructural work ongoing in various sectors. These include several roads constructions and upgrades, the CJIA expansion project and other domestic projects.

The Ministry and by extension the Government has recognised the shortfall and is addressing the snag.  Samad said finding additional sources is a “work in progress.”   Samad added that all of the boulders and rocks are presently sourced from the local quarry suppliers, BK International Quarry, Toolsie Persaud Quarries Inc, Baracara Quarry, Durban Quarry and Metallica Quarry.

Guyana’s sea and river defences play a vital role in the protection of people, assets, livelihoods and the environment in the coastal belt. Given that most of Guyana’s population resides in communities that lie below sea level, proper sea and river defence structures remain critical. The Government has identified the protection of people and productive lands as a priority, as well as extending, upgrading and maintaining the system of sea and river defence infrastructure.

A database has been established by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure containing all the critical areas identified for upgrades. Some of these include Zeelandia, Belle Plaine and Leguan in Essequibo, Canefield and Crabwood Creek in Berbice and areas on the West and East Bank Demerara.


By: Nateshia Isaacs


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