New ramp, dredging, road upgrades for fisherfolks at Ogle outfall

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
President Dr Irfaan Ali listening to concerns of fishermen at Ogle, East Coast Demerara

Fisherfolks operating at the Ogle Outfall on the East Coast of Demerara will benefit from a new ramp to bring their boats onshore and badly needed dredging workers as well as an upgrade of the mud dam leading to the channel.

These commitments were made by President Dr Irfaan Ali during an early morning visit on Saturday to the outfall, where he met with a number of fishermen and operators along the East Coast corridor.

During the engagement, the fisherfolks raised a number of concerns ranging from security issues to the state of the channels they are operating from.

One fisherman highlighted the need for the outfall, where there are approximately 35 boats operating from, to be dredged. It was explained that just over a dozen of these boats operating at Ogle are originally from Better Hope and Montrose had to move because but the channels there are blocked.

Fishermen gathered at Ogle for the early morning meeting with President Ali

“So, we’ll dredge Montrose [koker] and this one [at Ogle], we’ll try to start sometime next week… In three to four weeks, because they take about a week to mobilise, we can finish dredging the Montrose and then dredge here,” the President informed the fisherfolks.

The Head of State was also told of challenges fishermen face to load and offload their boats and requested an access structure, where they can also store the boats during hide tides as well as do maintenance.

“What you need is a ramp because if you build the ramp down [in the channel], you can just reel the boat up and repair it [onshore]… And then y’all have to been innovative. Come together as a group and make a trailer to pull the boat up,” Ali indicated.

Another issue raised that the Head of State committed to addressing is security. The fishermen related that they had put a watchman at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown, to guard the boats and equipment there but he was tied up and badly beaten.

The access to road to the Ogle outfall is expected to be upgraded

At the Ogle outfall, the President was informed that while lights were installed there, some of them are not working. Consequently, the Guyanese Leader instructed that the lights be fixed before the end of the day and told officials to make regular checks in the area to monitor, and fix if necessary, these things.

“Y’all gotta come and check these things too because these are simple things that we can fix,” Ali stated.

Meanwhile, the Head of State also committed to fixing the access road, which is a mud-dam, heading to the outfall.

“We’ll definitely have to fix this road here… at least we can bring it up to crush-stone and then finish it off later,” he posited.

He also instructed that the Public Works Ministry immediately look into this road upgrade and try to start the works during the course of this week.

Mon Repos Market

In addition to meeting the fisherfolks, President Ali also visited the newly renovated Mon Repos Market, ECD, on Saturday morning during which he engaged vendors and market officials.

President Dr Irfaan Ali engaging vendors and patrons at the Mon Repos Market during Saturday’s visit

Back in November 2022, a $619 contract was award for the rehabilitation and expansion of the popular ECD market with the aim of eliminate roadside vending and improving traffic flow in the area. This saw the previous wooden structure being torn down and a modern new 18,000 square-foot pre-fabricated multi-level building that can accommodate some 490 stalls erected in its place.

During his interactions with vendors, concerns were raised about security in the market. As a result, the President committed to having a police outpost established there.

Issues were also raised about the allocation and placement of stalls, narrow passage way for customers and lack of facilities such as parking for vendors.

At the time of the visit, it was raining and the vendors complain about the water seeping into their stalls and damaging their goods – something which the President witnessed and ordered the engineers to have the contractor fix the issue or otherwise face legal repercussions.

“If he doesn’t fix it by Thursday then y’all confiscate the retention [clause in the contract] and get somebody else to do it, and call upon the bond… Y’all gotta deal with contractor,” the Head of State declared.