Feb 13, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government, with aims of strengthening Guyana’s river and sea defence, has allocated $5.1B to repair and preserve those same areas.
During yesterday’s 2021-budget presentation, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, reminded the National Assembly and listeners of the consequences of climate change, including rising sea levels on Guyana’s sea and river defence infrastructure. With this, the Senior Minister added that these consequences “can have devastating impact on Guyana’s economy since most of its inhabitants are on the low lying coastal plain.”
In his presentation he continued, “Within two days of taking office, our Ministers were deployed to Dantzig, to grapple with the devastation of massive breached sections of the Mahaicony sea defence. Floodwaters inundated farmlands and residential communities resulting in loss to property, livestock and farming activities. The previous administration was negligent in anticipating and addressing the situation adequately, causing the new Government to deploy emergency arrangements to seal the breach, which had remained opened and threatening for over one month previously.”
With aims of addressing this, Dr, Singh indicated for 2021, a total of $5.1 billion has been budgeted to further strengthen our sea and river defence infrastructure. He added that earmarked for this year is the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of sea and river defence infrastructure in areas including villages like Dantzig, Prospect, Content, Fairfield, Zealand, Cane Garden, Uitvlugt, Anna Catherina, Number 63 Beach, Manila, and Bygeval.
The Minister mentioned too that government continues to keep close monitoring of our shoreline, by reactivating the sea defence rangers, applying drone technology to monitor shoreline movement and the erosion and accretion cycle, intensifying routine maintenance, and deploying stockpiles of armour rocks to strategic locations, to ensure that quick response mechanisms are in place to avert breaches.
“As we continue to make strident steps to protect our vulnerable shoreline,” Dr. Singh said, “we have found that existing conventional hard-infrastructure solutions are expensive and are not adaptable to rising sea levels and climate change vulnerabilities. It is for this reason that we intend to promote natural interventions in the form of groynes and restored mangrove forests from replanting and natural regeneration, to complement our significant investment in hard-structures.”
Against this, the Minister indicated that in 2021, $50 million is budgeted to construct geotextile rubble groynes, and to conduct topographic surveys.
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