Guyana/Cuba Joint Commission meeting starts today
November 23, 2006
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The agency said Minister of Foreign Trade and International Cooperation, Dr. Henry Jeffrey left here Monday to attend the two-day meeting.
According to Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. John Isaacs, Guyana will also seek to establish ministry to ministry bilateral relations, with the ministries of Health, Education and Public Service being highlighted.
Isaacs said Guyana is seeking, through the commission, to source personnel for the Sports Department of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, to teach martial arts and table tennis.
Benn outlines plan to better maintain national infrastructure THE government is working to develop a database that would strengthen capacity in the Ministry of Public Works and Communications to better monitor and maintain the country’s infrastructure, particularly the sea defences.
This would be developed in a manual format initially and include an outline of prearranged schedules for inspection, appropriate mechanisms for reports, a centre for inputting information and a system that would document the identified areas of focus, the cost and timeframe.
The Government Information Agency (GINA) said it would also assist in determining the availability of resources and whether the work needed to be done is beyond the scope of the ministry’s personnel.
Minister of Transport and Hydraulics, Mr. Robeson Benn told the agency there is an existing computerised programme to maintain the national infrastructure but it has to be improved to ensure efficiency.
He noted that the system is merely focused on rehabilitating roads and bridges but there is need to include sea defences.
“This would ensure a continuous way of monitoring the infrastructure, carrying out necessary works and then an audit to determine the effectiveness of the programme,” Benn said.
GINA stated that, over the years, several initiatives have been undertaken to improve the country’s defence against high tides by constructing, reinforcing and maintaining sea defence structures.
Earlier this year, a draft proposal was prepared by the Public Works Ministry for funding with about 20 million euros, under the ninth European Development Fund (EDF), to further strengthen the country’s coastal shore zone.
The ninth EDF targets activities such as sea defence construction and repairs, a shore zone management programme, institutional strengthening and capacity building for the sea defence unit.
GINA said several areas were proposed for construction, including the Corentyne Coast and East Coast Demerara, while other places were identified for repairs.
The shore zone management aspect will focus on the protection and re-growth of mangroves to be used as a form of sea defence and would include the establishment of plant nurseries, as well.
GINA said the institutional strengthening and capacity building component involves training engineers to monitor the sea defences and to secure effectiveness of a computer database for further review and possible action.
Currently, the eighth EDF is in its final stages and all works proposed under it are ongoing, with an execution cost of 19 million euros, to also strengthen the coastal shore against the increasing sea level.
Four kilometres of sea defences are being erected in several parts of Regions Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam) at Capoey/Columbia (1,145 metres) and Three (West Demerara/Essequibo Islands) at Tuschen (530 metres), Met-en-Meerzorg/DeKinderen (690 metres) and Hague (745 metres).