Millions more approved to strengthen Guyana’s sea defence 

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Works on Guyana’s sea defence will be further bolstered as the National Assembly approved more than $100 million in supplementary funding to the Ministry of Public Works.

Subject Minister, Juan Edghill explained on Thursday during the 33rd sitting of the National Assembly that most of the correctional works to critical breaches across the country’s shoreline have been corrected but additional work still needs to be done.

On the Mahaicony Coast in Region Five, $43 million will be expended to construct rip-rap sea defence structures between Bygeval and Manilla with an additional $5 million being spent to continue similar works between Fairfield and Zeeland.

From July 2019 and onwards, several sections of the sea defence structure at Mahaicony have repeatedly collapsed causing the destruction of acres of farmlands.

In Region Six on the East Bank of Berbice, some $9 million will be expended to strengthen the sea defence structures at Glasgow and Heat Burn Village.

Another $2 million will be used to construct rip rap sea defence structures at Zeelugt on the East Bank of Essequibo and another $11 million for works at Better Hope on the East Coast of Demerara.

And finally, $37 million will be expended on ongoing works at Amsterdam, Leguan Island in Region Three. For all of the projects, the Public Works Minister was keen to note that an open procurement process was used.

Most of the works, he noted, are already ongoing and the funding will aid the fast-tracking of works before the year is out. And this is seen as apt as the country braces for an intense rainy period this Christmas season.

Just recently, Guyana received $7.5 million euros in budgetary support from the European Union (EU); the final tranche of the €34 million multi-year agreement with Guyana which will go to prop up the country’s vulnerable sea defence.

Sea defence repairs have taken a chunk of the national budget with some $5.1 billion allocated to repair and preserve those same areas just this year. The government, when making the allocation, took into consideration the consequences of climate change, including rising sea levels on Guyana’s sea and river defence infrastructure.

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