Sea defence bolstering continues -- GINA
Guyana Chronicle
December 3, 2006

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THE government has invested more than $1B this year to further strengthen the country’s coastland against high tides through the construction, upgrading and maintenance of sea defences, according to the Government Information Agency (GINA).

It said that earlier this year, the administration allocated $650M for several sea defence projects. An additional $549M was later made available for more improvement works.

At Leguan, rip-rap construction was done at Blenheim, Phoenix and Belfield at a total cost of $300M while three separate projects are ongoing at Rush Brook, Zeelandia and Maria Johanna on Wakenaam Island that would cost $219M, the agency said.

Another $100M is being spent to continue works at Ruimzeight, West Coast Demerara on a programme that targets construction of close to 400 metres of rip-rap structure annually. Under the 2005 work programme, $101M was spent to construct the first 400 metres.

GINA said that based on the effectiveness of the rip-rap construction, the government introduced it also at Crane, West Coast Demerara.

In Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne), the slope wall at Skeldon was reinforced under a $13M project while at Glasgow, $96M is being spent on similar works slated for completion before this month end.

A $47M project at Line Path, Skeldon is expected to commence shortly, the agency said.

In Region Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam), another vulnerable area, $14M was spent to strengthen the sea defence at Devonshire Castle and Maria’s Lodge.

Other infrastructural works were completed in other areas including construction of an earthen embankment from Montrose to Triumph, East Coast Demerara, emergency repairs at Foulis and revetment works at Belle Vue, West Bank Demerara.

Project Manager of the Sea Defence Unit of the Ministry of Public Works and Communications, Agnes Dalrymple, told GINA focus is directed mostly on construction rather than emergency repairs, taking into consideration the high cost associated with sea defence works.

Work is under way to enhance monitoring and maintenance of the sea defence infrastructure and it is expected that an effective system will be in full operation early next year, the agency said.

The land level on the coastal plain is about one metre below the high tide level and with the effects of global warming which result in ‘ice-caps’ melting, and constant rise in the sea level, Guyana’s shoreline is under threat, it noted.