Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, on Tuesday morning, visited the Meadow Bank Wharf, Greater Georgetown, where he interacted with fishermen and vendors and listened to their concerns relating to security, the condition of the building and the wharf.
The minister decided to visit the bustling location after receiving complaints about its current state, and other issues affecting those who earn a livelihood from the facility.
Minister Mustapha had requested that representatives of the fishermen be present as the ministry will be working with them and the Co-op to resolve the daily challenges they encounter.
“The most burning issue, according to the complaints, are security and the state of the building and the wharf. So I can’t make a full commitment that we will do any repairs right away, but when I go back to the ministry, I will see what I can do,’’ Mustapha said.
On February 1, two women were robbed by armed bandits at the said wharf; the perpetrators escaped and no arrests have been made since.
Additionally, the minister said that he will liaise with Home Affairs Minister, Robeson Benn, to enhance security at the wharf.
“I will try to see how we can do some renovative work in this building. You know for a fact that these things are costing a lot of money. Only recently we would have had the budget read in the National Assembly. Next week, we’ll be looking at the budget and things like that so I will see from my ministry what we can do to enhance the structure, enhance the wharf, and also look at the security aspect of this,” he said.
Another issue that raised by the fishermen and vendors is the water situation at the wharf. The minister said that he will seek the intervention of Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, to provide a facility for the fishermen to access water as their current source is a well that is privately owned.
“We also have to look at the costs to maintain and run this building. It has to be cost-effective. If the services are being provided, then we also have to pay a small fee to get these services. But, first of all, we have to get the facility back in order. So, we will work with the Co-op and that committee and bring everything together and we’ll try to enhance all the facilities and all aspects of operations at this facility here,” Minister Mustapha explained.