Four-lane US$22M east bank highway among three major Guyana-IDB contracts inked

The Guyana Government and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) recently signed three contracts for the commencement of works to transform the country’s infrastructure, sanitation in the city, and the enhancement of the public financial management system.

Signatories to the three contracts were Minister of Finance Dr Ashni Singh; Manager, Caribbean Country Department of the IDB Gerard Johnson; Minister of Transport and Hydraulics Robeson Benn and Minister of Housing and Water Irfaan Ali, a release from the Government Information Agency (GINA) said.

According to GINA, the first pact on infrastructure caters for the commencement of works on the four-lane highway on the East Bank Demerara at a cost of US$22 million. The IDB will inject US$20 million into the project which will see an extension of the existing four-lane highway from Providence to the Diamond junction.

The stretch of road will result in the widening of 16 bridges and culverts for continued drainage and it will also cater for the effects of climate change on parts of the coastland. The design of the project also caters for road safety engineering which includes side walks and pedestrian crossings and other features. The project is seen as critical given the rapid growth and development in the Diamond/Grove area and the support services needed to meet the expected growth in demand.

Minister of Public Works and Communication Robeson Benn conveyed gratitude to the IDB visiting team. He said the four-lane road from Providence to Diamond is a critical project given the many pressures put on the current infrastructure from the heavy traffic. The second project of US$10 million concerns the Georgetown Sanitation Improvement (GSI) programme which focuses on the rehabilitation of the Georgetown sewerage system. The IDB will provide US$9.5 million.

Ali said the project will remodel the current system which is more than 100 years old and a component of it is a pilot to promote energy efficiency of the pumping stations.

The third agreement signed was in the area of enhancement of the country’s public financial management system. The US$825,000 project will continue the process of computerizing government’s management function and this project will be funded through an IDB grant of US$750,000, GINA stated.

Singh said the activities contemplated under this project will lead to a roll out of the implementation of the Integrated Financial and Accounting System (IFMAS), a critical administrative reform system in recent years.

The entire government management function is today computerised and the achievements were acknowledged by the IDB Caribbean Country Manager, the release added.

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