A team headed by Minister with responsibility for the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), Valerie Patterson on Tuesday and Wednesday visited Suriname to inspect housing projects pursuant to a proposal from a developer there and she said she was impressed with what she saw.
A release from the Ministry of Communities said that Patterson was accompanied by CH&PA Board Member, Mark Jacobs; CH&PA Chief Planner Rawle Edinboro; Pilot Coordinator of the Guyana Wastewater revolving Fund, Marlon Daniels, who is also a Water and Sanitation Specialist and Building Consultant Klensil Grenville.
This recent visit, the release said, was a follow up to a proposal, which has been submitted to the Government of Guyana by (CDIG) Zhong Da International Engineering Company (Suriname) for a housing project in Guyana. According to Patterson, the proposal is for the construction of low and middle income homes, complete with water and sanitation systems. The Suriname-based company has a Chinese parent company.
During the visit, Patterson said the team toured two locations where a total of five hundred and fifty homes were constructed by the company, in collaboration with the Suriname Government.
“We were impressed with the quality of the homes, quality of materials that were used, soil preparation that was done, and the overall construction methodology,” Patterson reported, according to the release.
She noted that while the homes in Suriname are all flat houses with no elevation off the ground, given Guyana’s topography it has been recommended that the houses be elevated at least three feet off the ground.
The release said that Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan has since been briefed on the trip, and has given his approval for what has been submitted by the CH&PA. With the drafting of a Draft Framework Agreement for the commencement of the project, the Perseverance Phases Three and Four Scheme has been identified as the most suitable location for this initiative. The Perseverance Scheme is where the Government’s Turn Key home Project is ongoing. To date a total of fifty nine homes have been completed, with another one hundred and forty one under construction.
Patterson in her discussion with the General Manager of the Chinese Company, Wu Qiong, raised the issue of employment for Guyanese at every level of this project. The release said that the Company has assured that more than fifty percent of the workforce for the project would be Guyanese. In addition the Company will be offering training for locals once the project has started. A high level team from the Company is expected in Guyana today to follow up on the discussion and to visit the proposed site for the homes to be constructed.
Zhong Da International Engineering Company (Suriname) N.V was founded and registered in March 2000 and it constitutes the solely-funded enterprise of China Dalian International Cooperation Group, (CDIG). The parent company CDIG has been in Suriname for over 17 years and its business covers, road construction, bridges, industrial and civil engineering.