May 27, 2022 News
Kaieteur News – Residents of Fort Island would now have the opportunity to properly trade their goods and services to nearby markets as they can now utilise the Stelling there that was rehabilitated to the tune $82 million.
The Stelling which underwent rehabilitative works last year was a project undertaken by the Ministry of Public Works’ Transport and Habours Department. The Department, last year August signed a contract with IB Contracting and Machinery Service to upgrade the Stelling and the works were completed on March 17, last. The project was supervised by Eric Morris, a civil engineer of the ministry.
Some of the works on the Stelling included the driving of 85 piles into the low and high ramps areas and to the main carriage way, a new passenger accommodation, a newly built lavatory and for the first time it would be utilising solar power technology.
At the commissioning ceremony on Tuesday, Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar told a gathering that when his government ascended to office in 2020, he visited the island and saw that it was in need of much needed repairs. Following that visit, his Ministry had proposed a sum in the 2021 budget that would go towards the rehabilitation of the structure.
He noted that having the stelling repaired would not only help boost tourism at the island but it would help residents greatly in terms of economic benefits. Indar stated that the stelling, in a deplorable state, had affected farmers because they were not getting the opportunity to sell their goods.
“The first thing is that our ministry and our government, we wanted to make sure that we fix the stelling, to make sure that the people of this community have the same kind of access like the people on Leguan, Bartica, Wakenaam and Supenaam. All of those points are movement of goods, people trade and they plant and take their stuff to the market but Fort Island has been cut off from that route. This is evidence that we want to integrate back in a manner that allows people to meet their daily living,” he said on Tuesday.
While noting the importance of the stelling, the Minister pleaded with the residents to take good care of the newly rehabilitated structure.
Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill in brief remarks said that with the number of tourists the island attracts, the government is looking to have new features introduced to the community.
The Minister explained that following a meeting with the President, they are looking to have transportations which would cater for the elderly and not so agile persons that would want to visit the island.
“I have been instructed, and we are pursuing buying a golf cart that would be stationed here that when people come out of the boat they can go on the gulf cart and they can go and see the fort and other places, and that would be part of the tourist enhancement features here in the island,” Edghill disclosed.
With the stelling ready for use, it was explained that the boats travelling to Bartica would make stops at Fort Island on Saturdays and Sundays.
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