Gov’t eyes new sandpit to help stabilise costs amid construction boom


President Dr. Irfaan Ali said that the government is considering whether it should manage a new sand pit to help stabilise the rising costs of building materials amid the country’s construction boom.

The ongoing construction boom has significantly increased the demand for building materials, more so the supply of those materials has not equally increased. Shortages in both local and international markets mean that prices for scarce goods are likely to increase.

“In order to address the issues of construction costs and to ensure we keep some amount of management of this, we are now looking at the opening up of a sand pit that would be managed by some of the government agencies.

“That is to bring some balance in terms of the prices, because for the boom in construction, what is expected is going to put pressure on the supply side because demand is not falling back,” the Guyanese Head of State told reporters at the sidelines of an event on Thursday.

President Dr. Irfaan Ali at the sod turning event on Thursday (Photo: Office of the President/ July 15, 2022)

The government has not yet identified the location of that pit but President Ali said that it would likely be managed by the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) and the Ministry of Public Works. The private sector, he said, would also be involved.

His statements came moments after he announced that the country was experiencing a shortage of plywood- a crucial material needed in construction.

With the government rolling out a massive housing agenda, coupled with its infrastructural transformation, the shortages of building materials may lead to work delays.

As such, the President related that he immediately contacted the Barama company to understand what was causing the shortages.

“… they’ve assured me that because of the rain, they had limitations in the supply of wood to the factory and they are going to redouble their efforts to get the supply of logs into the factory to bring the situation to some sort of balance in about three weeks,” he related.

This is not the first time in recent months that the country has been experiencing shortages of key building materials. Since last year, there have been shortages in cement and stone largely due to external supply chain challenges.

Those challenges worsened this year with the Ukraine/ Russia crisis further constraining global supply chain efforts. With this, imported materials are both more expensive and less accessible.

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