Court case jeopardises IDB funding for sea defence repairs
- Public Works Ministry
Guyana Chronicle
November 14, 2001

THE Ministry of Public Works and Communications yesterday said it will soon begin a $10M emergency works programme on the Ogle-Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara sea defence to secure the existing structure, pending conclusion of a court case over the award of the contract for works in that area.

In a statement, it said the proposed emergency work has become "critically necessary" since the existing sea defence structure continues to deteriorate, and the "probability of failure and attendant flooding is becoming more evident as the court case drags on."

The structure at Ogle-Turkeyen was placed in category A (emergency works) since 1992, and has been deteriorating ever since, the ministry warned.

It said that Chief River and Sea Defence Officer, Mr. George Howard is concerned that the structure may be "surviving on borrowed time" and as a result, the ministry will be spending the money to ensure that the structure lasts at least until the court case is concluded.

The ministry noted that Mr. Mohamed Rafiudeen, after the $128M contract for the project was awarded to BK International, took it (the ministry) to court.

In the meantime, residents of the area face overtopping during Spring tides.

There is even greater concern this week, since there are expected to be heavy Spring tides, the ministry said.

The ministry said that even upon completion of the case, it may be unable to fund the original project, since the time to draw down on the financing from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) would have expired, and Guyana could very well lose the money allocated for the project.

The matter is now in the Appeal Court and will be called again on November 27, it added.