Technical assessments are currently being done for two projects under consideration to be funded by the United Kingdom (UK) through a 2015 grant, under the UK Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIF) programme.
During a recent interview with Guyana Standard, UK High Commissioner, Greg Quinn, indicated that while the process for Guyana to access the grant is active, it is unlikely that any construction would begin this year.
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has been designated by the UK government to design, develop, and implement the programme in collaboration with the Government of Guyana.
Quinn has indicated that the process is now at a stage where technical assessments are being done — but not by the Guyana Government.
Quinn said that there are two projects under consideration. These are the Linden to Kurupukari road, bridge, and port, as well as the Stabroek Wharf.
He said, “Both are at the design and technical assessment phase and that is being done as we speak so once those designs and assessments are done there is to be a decision as to which one ultimately will be funded.”
Quinn said that the government will have to make that decision. “Once the documents are produced, the government will decide what the next step is.”
Both projects are considered important.
The Stabroek Wharf, a historical landmark, is deplorable to the stage of impending collapse. Meanwhile, persons currently travelling the Linden/Lethem trail have to cross the Essequibo River, at Kurupukari, by a privately-operated pontoon service. Kurupukari Village is located along the Lethem–Georgetown trail, about five hours from Lethem.
In September 2015 UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, visited Jamaica and announced that his government will invest £300 million for vital new infrastructure in the Caribbean. These include roads, bridges, and ports to help drive economic growth and development across the region. The £300M allocated converts to about US$550M.
This has made the UK the single largest bilateral donor to the region.
Countries benefiting include Guyana, Jamaica, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
In 2016, Quinn said that the UK’s confidence in Guyana and its new administration has allowed the country to benefit from a £52M (GY$16B) grant, a significant portion of the £300 million allocated for the region.