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Kwakwani residents commend Govt’s swift action to repair barge

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The government has executed significant infrastructural works to rehabilitate the barge in Kwakwani, Region Ten to ensure the transportation service is restored soonest.

The undertaking was done in partnership with the Kwakwani Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) to advance the rehabilitation work so that commercial activities such as mining and logging are not disrupted.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill and technical team inspecting works on the barge

Speaking with the Department of Public Information (DPI) Thursday, several loggers and residents commended the government’s swift response.

Avril Walker is among the many loggers who are happy that they can now use the barge since it is utilised daily to transport their goods and generate revenue for many households. 

“I am so happy about this. This is our main barge that brings in our income,” she noted.

Echoing similar sentiments, a resident of Kwakwani, Orlando Johashen, highlighted that the government continues to deliver on its manifesto commitments across the board.

Another logger, Courtney Edwards said Kwakwani is no different from other communities, as it continues to undergo various developments to transform the livelihoods of residents there.

“Thank you for ensuring that our barge is fixed so that we as a community can survive. Kwakwani depends on logging and mining mainly. I am so thankful for this,” Edwards expressed.

Despite rumours that the barge had sunk, it found that the flat-bottomed waterway vessel needed urgent repairs.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill addressing residents and loggers at a meeting in Kwakwani

Last Wednesday, Minister of Public Works Bishop Juan Edghill led a team including the General Manager of the Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB), Wayne Watson to do an assessment of the barge.  

Subsequently, a technical team of 39 men led by Watson was deployed to the mining village to commence work.  

During his follow-up visit on Thursday, Minister Edghill underscored that the rehabilitation of the barge reflects the government’s dedication and investments towards the continuous development of Kwakwani and other areas.

“This [barge] that you have here is a major investment. You have a barge here right now with minimum maintenance for the next five years…This shows the nature of the PPP/C Government and the urgency with which we responded to this situation,” he told those present.

In response to requests made to procure a new barge, the minister explained the previous administration in 2019 conducted an inspection of the same barge and the records reflect that nothing was done.

The minister also emphasised that a system needs to be implemented by the NDC where funds should be set aside towards the maintenance of the barge in the future.

He said there is a dire need for weight restrictions to be imposed on the trucks utilising the barge.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill and technical team inspecting works on the barge

Final set of works being done on the barge

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