‘She’s out of her league’ – Indar sets record straight on sea defence spending

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Minister within the Ministry of Public Works Deodat Indar on Monday set the record straight on much-needed sea defences, chastising Opposition Parliamentarian Amanza Walton- Desir for failing to recognise the work the government is doing.

Guyana’s narrow coastal plain, where most people live and work, is constantly threatened by rising sea levels and flooding and members of the government and opposition agree that spending on strong sea defences is necessary.

But Walton- Desir, who spoke during the budget debate on Monday, said the government is not doing enough to protect the vulnerable coastline.

“Every country in the world with the resources is fortifying itself against climate change and rising sea levels but we here in Guyana are doing the opposite.

“This government is running around this country building roads, building bridges, building hotel rooms, building synthetic tracks and failing to do the most important thing and that is to protect them from flooding and from the sea coming in on us,” Walton-Desir said.

But her comments were quickly rejected by Indar.

“The entire coastland, all the islands… everywhere on the coastal front, we are doing sea defence work.

“We don’t need her to come here and lecture us about sea defence, she is out of her league,” Indar responded.

According to Indar, some $4.9 billion was allocated to his ministry for the execution of direct sea defence works in the 2023 National Budget. That will allow the government to build new structures or fortify existing ones.

Beyond that, however, he said other ministries are working on sea defence and flood prevention efforts.

Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh last week noted that $19.7 billion will be spent on drainage and irrigation works across the country. New pump stations will be constructed at Meten-Meer- Zorg, Jimbo Grove, Belle Vue and Letter Kenny.

The government will also spend on upgrading other drainage and irrigation systems across the country.

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