On Friday, December 21, 2018, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, newly elected 2018-2020 Sea Defence Board met to discuss the plans, functions and focus towards the rehabilitation, protection and preventive works under the Guyana Sea Defence Department.
The newly elected members are as follows; Mr. John Cush- Representative, Guyana Association of Professional Engineers, Chairman; Mr. Jermaine Braithwaite- Senior Engineer, Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Secretary; Mr. Kevin Samad- Chief Sea and River Defence Officer, Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Member; Mr. Maitland Stewart - Senior District Engineer, Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Member; Ms. Safiya Gafoor - Civil Engineer, Private Sector, member; Ms. Heidi Gillette - Civil Engineer, Private Sector, member; Ms. Kene Moseley - Project Coordinator, Mangrove Restoration and Management Department, NAREI, member; Ms. Sharifah Razack – Director, Technical Secretariat, Environmental Protection Agency, member; Mr. Dave Hicks - Deputy Chief Executive Officer, National Drainage and Irrigation Authority, member; Ms. Denise Hodge - Legal Officer, Ministry of Communities, member; Mr. Doorga Persaud - Advisor on Land and Land Development, Ministry of the Presidency, member; Mr. Omadat Persaud - Manager, Water Management, GUYSUCO, member; Ms. Nandranie Coonjah - Regional Vice Chairperson, RDC, Region No.2, member; Mr. Julius Faerber - Regional Chairman, RDC, Region No.3, member; Ms. Genevieve Allen - Regional Chairperson, RDC, Region No.4, member; Mr. Rion Peters - Regional Vice Chairman, RDC, Region No.5, member; Mr. Dennis Deoroop - Regional Vice Chairman, RDC, Region No. 6, member; Mr. Beni Sankar - Representative Private Sector Commission, member; Mrs. Anita Wilson-Layne - Project Manager, Civil Defence Commission, member; and Appointed member of the Parliamentary Opposition, member.
At Friday’s meeting, the Honourable Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, charged Board members to be gatekeepers of the nation as they serve in their respective designations for the development and protection of all Guyanese through the management of critical flood protection systems.
For the year 2019, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure endeavours to implement a programme of complimentary activities based on established principles of integrated coastal zone management. This requires that emphasis be placed on sustaining structurally adequate and functional sea and river defences, while implementing scientific approaches to planning for future interventions in the sector. To ensure that priorities are adequately established, the Ministry has developed its annual programmes in concurrence with the Sea and River Defence Sector Policy and the Sea and River Defence Sector Strategy. The 2019 Programme for Sea and River Defences will focus on strategic interventions in the areas of flood protection infrastructure, monitoring and research, technical capacity development within the Sea and River Defence Division and initiatives toward the further implementation of the Sector Policy aims.
The Board further discussed that Guyana’s flood protection infrastructure system will be further strengthened through the implementation of works contracts for the construction of critical sections of sea and river defences in Regions 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Designs for new sea defences will be developed in accordance with accepted methods which are adapted to the prevailing conditions along Guyana’s coastline and river systems. Engineering design parameters for new flood protection structures are typically developed for a corresponding minimum design performance period of 30 years with the necessary allowances to satisfy climate change resilience requirements. Additionally, existing sea walls and revetments will be rehabilitated to enhance performance and achieve extended structural life. Site selection for construction and rehabilitation works will be guided by the results of sea and river defence condition surveys within the various Districts. The Board also wishes to iriteriate that permission must be granted before individuals or companies begin construction on river reserves.
More so, emphasis will be placed on data management and analysis through the upgrading of the Ministry’s Shore Zone Management GIS database. Public awareness programmes targeting various stakeholder groups will be financed to aid in the dispensing of knowledge on the use of sea defence reserves and care of the flood protection systems in vulnerable communities along Guyana’s coastline.
It is envisaged that the activities programmed for implementation by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure will be jointly financed and supported through national funding and collaborated arrangements for donor support under the European Development Fund Budget Support Programme and the Sea and
River Defence Resilience Project, currently being implemented through a loan agreement between the Government of Guyana and the Caribbean Development Bank.
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