Following a plethora of complaints about the working environment at the popular Meadow Bank Wharf in Georgetown, President Dr Irfaan Ali conducted a pre-dawn visit to the fishing facility on Thursday where he announced that a task force will be immediately deployed to remedy the issues.
The Head of State, accompanied by Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha and senior members of the Police Force, said that he has instructed the task force to look at installing lights and washroom facilities at the wharf.
The Police Force was also told to establish a permanent presence at the location to ensure the safety of those plying their trade.
“I’ve asked the Minister of Agriculture to immediately deploy a task force here…to improve the environment, improve the security; the police will have to work immediately establishing a permanent presence here to support the industry here.
“We will install lighting facilities, washroom facilities and water,” President Ali said, noting that once these issues are fixed, a more holistic development plan will be done for the area.
The wharf services residents of the city and surrounding communities with wholesale and retail fish and other products and in acknowledging its importance, President Ali said he wanted to have a first-hand view of the challenges the vendors and fishermen face on a daily basis.
The President said his visit was prompted by a letter of complaint he received a few weeks ago.
“I wanted to understand the issues myself, I wanted to be out here in the working environment to understand the challenges they are faced with in the environment they operate in.
“…I can actually see physically the challenges they are faced with and there are a number of challenges with the infrastructure and security perspective.”
Ali emphasised that the fishing industry is critical to Guyana’s economy, noting that it provides thousands of jobs.
“It is critical so we are working to support this industry, to improve its capacity.”