Coastal engineering design manual being finalised

As the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) works to finalise a coastal engineering design manual in collaboration with the European Union (EU); it recently hosted a two-day workshop to train MPI staff across different agencies.

The workshop focused on various areas of sea defence including the design of flood protection structures for coastal and riverrain areas as well as the economics and feasibility of sea defences.

According to a release from MPI, both David Patterson, Minister of Infrastructure and EU Ambassador to Guyana, Jernej Videtič addressed the workshop which ran from 8-9 December at the Cara Lodge.

In his remarks Patterson stressed the importance of coastal engineering management in relation to climate change and Guyana’s being below sea level. He emphasised the need for sustainable long-term solutions to sea defence, noting that together with the design manual, deliberations resulting from the workshop will be integral to the administration’s aim to improving sea defence.

Videtič pointed to the need for sustainability in the country’s sea defence, stating that the reduction of Guyana’s coastal zone was as a result of inadequate maintenance of existing barriers as well as the destruction of mangrove trees. He added that the manual will be a constructive and easily accessible tool that could be utilised in developing a better strategy for the country.

The incomplete 14-chapter manual which was compiled by a team of four consultants including specialists in coastal engineering, geotechnology and engineering, focusses on integrated planning for sea and river defence works; physical site conditions and data collection issues; natural flood protection systems along Guyana’s oceanic coast and river banks, and their applicability to the shore zone management process.

In the long term the document intends to provide relevant and feasible guidelines for the application of methods and techniques regarding design and implementation of coastal engineering projects. These plans will cover construction or repair and rehabilitation of existing projects, prevention of the erosion of oceanic, estuarine and recessed coasts, coastal flooding, and substantial damage to coastal communities from wave over-topping.

The production of the Coastal Engineering Design manual is the beneficiary of the 10th European Union Fund agenda.

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