Grant to support study for rehabilitation of sea defences in Guyana

In Guyana, 90 percent of the population live along the coast, which is below sea level at high tide. The communities are protected by a network of seawalls and stone revetments, but these have deteriorated significantly over the years, due in part to the impacts of climate change. On May 22, the Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) approved a grant of GBP603,000 to fund a feasibility study and designs for the rehabilitation of the coastal and river infrastructure in the Georgetown area.

In addition, the project will cover the reconstruction of the facilities at the major river-passenger and goods-transport hubs at Stabroek Market and Vreed-en-Hoop on the Demerara River. The Demarara River is the principal route for commuters and goods between the two points, providing an alternative to crowded roads. The docks at both ports are inadequate, and cannot serve the currents levels of traffic which they receive.

Rehabilitation of the sea defences is expected to have significant transformational effects, on the city. Improving this critical infrastructure will help increase access to facilitate business, trade and social needs, and contribute to the growth in prosperity, poverty reduction and improved resilience to the effects of climate change in Guyana,” said Andrew Dupigny, Head of Infrastructure Partnerships at CDB.

The rivers and coastline of Guyana are primary hubs for social and economic activity and, in addition to housing the majority of the population, most of the country’s commercial, industrial and other economic activity is undertaken within the coastal zone. In Georgetown, the seawall is a focal point for community activities, and gatherings. The project will include a feasibility study and the preparation of detailed designs and cost estimates for the rehabilitation of sea defences and ancillary waterfront development between Georgetown and Liliendaal.

The project is being funded through the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIF), which is administered by CDB. UKCIF provides grant financing to eight Caribbean countries eligible for Overseas Development Assistance, and UK Overseas Territory, Montserrat.