Investment in sea defence is an investment in agriculture – Min. Edghill

– $550M approved to strengthen sea and river defence

Protecting Guyana’s farmlands is essential to the country realising its full agriculture potential and achieving food security. But, critical to achieving this is strengthening the country’s sea and river defences.

It is with this in mind that the National Assembly on Monday, approved $550 million in supplemental funds to facilitate the completion of critical sea and river defence works.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill

Minister of Public Works, Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill while defending the, said the funds will add to the work Government is already executing in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five and Six.

“You are seeing the visible work that is being done and these sums are just to add to that list and to ensure we are not caught lagging behind and then we have to rush into emergency mode. Because of the effective implementation of our programmes, we could come here and ask for more to do more,” the Minister stated.

He noted that the Government has been proactive in addressing issues relating to the country’s sea and river defence.

“As it relates to specific interventions… [rip rap sea defence works] and we are not just responding to breaches and this is what is important, we have improved our surveillance mechanism and not just using the technology of drones but boots on the ground,” he said.

“I am pleased sir that our sea and river defence unit at the ministry of public works has been advancing their work in a very satisfactory manner. Major interventions when we came to office would have had to deal with Region Five in that Dantzig area,” Minister Edghill added.

The Government in Budget 2022, invested $5 billion towards strengthening the country’s sea and river defence at Grove, La Resource, Maria’s Delight, Zeelandia, Leguan, Bygeval, Essex and Bengal.

In 2021, the Government invested $4.7 billion for the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of rip-rap sea defence in several areas along the coast, including Fairfield, Naamryck, Zeelugt, Zeelandia and Leguan. Further, 100 metres of geotextile tube groyne was constructed at Non Pariel along with the planting of 40,000 mangrove seedlings.