The implementation of the Geographic Information System (GIS) at the Ministry of Public Works and Communications was lauded by engineers and experts in the field at the Ministry’s recent Engineering Conference held at Guyana International Convention Centre, Liliendaal.
Valerie Grant, Consultant on GIS, told Kaieteur News that the Ministry’s River and Sea Defence Department is the primary user of GIS.
Since its operation in February, engineers particularly those involved in river and sea defence, are accessing data via the Ministry’s intranet to execute their duties.
Grant stated that, “the sea defence management system has been piloted in Region Four, with other Regions coming on board shortly.”
“We have had staff now transfer to that department (GIS Department) and they are executing all data entries and queries that come from the field. With this here we have the rangers in the field who are picking up data daily- doing regular condition assessment,” Geoffrey Vaughn, Chief River and Sea Defence Engineer of the Ministry.
Vaughn indicated that the impact would not be felt immediately but when the data is available the workload would be reduced in terms of gathering information.
During Grant’s presentation it was highlighted that engineers are now acquiring information pertaining to the roads and bridges network to build the database.
With the Ministry’s website coming on stream soon, Grant recommended that this information can also be accessible via the internet. She posited that citizens can highlight affected areas, attach comments and mail it to the relevant department for further action.
Engineers from the Ministry, Guyana Lands and Survey Commissions, Civil Defence Commission, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, and other agencies were exposed to training in GIS operations from January to April of this year, Grant stated.
She noted that training in GIS is continuous and engineers would have to undergo further training.
Vaughn stated that the implementation of this system is being funded by the European Union through its ninth European Development Fund to Guyana. The EU has been financing the strengthening of Guyana’s coastline for a number of years.
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