Gov’t considering ‘support options’ for boat operators, vendors affected by fire


President Dr. Irfaan Ali and Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh on Monday met with several boat operators and owners whose vessels were destroyed in the fire on August 01 at the Vreed-en-Hoop Stelling, West Coast Demerara.

Following the meeting, the government announced that it was actively working with other stakeholders on the possible options for support.

“As a result of today’s meeting, will further meet next week with the boat owners and operators along with representatives of the local banking and insurance sectors to explore options for support,” Dr. Singh said in a Facebook post.

Nineteen vessels were involved in the fire, and by the time it was extinguished, 13 of them were destroyed, while six were slightly damaged.

The owners and operators use these boats to transport persons across the Demerara River daily.

President Irfaan Ali and members of his Cabinet meet with boat operators and owners

Although arson is suspected, the Guyana Fire Service (GFS) is yet to confirm a determination of the cause of the fire.

Meanwhile, Dr. Singh said he and the President also meet with the victims of the Parika Market fire which occurred in February this year along with representatives from the banking and insurance sectors, to explore options for support.

A GFS investigation revealed that the fire was caused by residue from a welding torch that fell into a storage bond and ignited nearby combustible materials.

Some vendors have already been relocated to temporary spots and the Parika Market will be rebuilt by construction firm, Panko Steel Fabrication and Construction, at no additional cost to the Government.

Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, and the Minister within the Ministry of Local Government, Anand Persaud also accompanied President Ali to Monday’s meeting.


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