Gov’t working towards seamless, hassle-free ferry travel – Min. Edghill

To accompany the large-scale infrastructural and socioeconomic transformation underway, government continues to explore ways to vastly improve the quality of transportation services for Guyanese.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill gave the reassurance at the opening ceremony for the Simextra Duty-Free Store at the Canawaima Ferry Terminal, Moleson Creek, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) on Friday.

The minister noted that due to the large volume of people and vehicles moving along the route, government has added another vessel to the Parika/Supenaam, Parika/Leguan, Parika/Wakenaam, and Parika/Bartica routes. This is in light of the spike in commuters to these areas, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill engaging with passengers aboard the Canawaima Ferry

“When people were not able to travel out of the country for family vacations and the like, Mainstay was booked out, and that trend continues,” Minister Edghill explained.

He said government is responsive to issues as they arise to ensure that as more sustainable structures and systems unfold, persons are not inconvenienced or subject to discomfort in the interim.

“As a government, we are not sitting on our hands while these things are happening. We are addressing the issues as they arise. So, if there is need for greater expansion here at Canawaima, while we wait for the bridge, we may very well have the MV Sandaka coming back to service here with the Canawaima.”

The overall intent is for there to be seamless, hassle-free travel, and government is dedicated to putting systems in place to ensure this.  

In this vein, the public works minister pointed out that efforts are being made to implement online booking services for the Canawaima ferry.

“We have to finalise the details with our Surinamese counterparts, but we are ready to go. We want to stop this long process of people having to come to Moleson Creek at 5:00 am, line up to get a number. In this electronic age, where there is accessibility, people must be able to book, and the service must be more predictable,” he said.

Implementing this service will enable businesses as well as the Canawaima Ferry Service to plan effectively, as they will be able to track how many persons will be aboard the ferry to arrange staffing and the like accordingly.

The public works minister also assured that once the bridge is established and operational, this will not render the ferry terminal obsolete. In fact, this expands the range of potential for the area, as the government aims to establish an exclusive duty-free zone.

“When the bridge kicks in, there is a lot of potential for what we can do here. We want people who come over from Suriname to be able to do exclusive shopping in an area. The conversation is continuing in that regard. Moleson Creek, Canawaima facilities, and everything around here is scheduled for great improvement and development,” the minister stated.

He added that the county of Berbice is slated for vast transformation in many sectors through a number of projects, such as the Palmyra to Crabwood Creek Road, the Berbice stadium and multipurpose facility, and the Berbice Deep-Water Harbour.