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As part of the President’s vision for a more community-oriented military, members of the Guyana Defence Force (GFD) Engineering Corps have embarked on several infrastructure projects in communities countrywide.
Thus far, ranks have commenced the construction of lightweight vehicular bridges at Catherine, Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara (ECD) and at Lesbeholden, Black Bush Polder, Corentyne.
The aim is to sensitize communities of the developmental role that the military could play while reinforcing confidence in the armed forces.
At Catherine, ranks, under the supervision of Lieutenant Shaquille Wilson, have completed preparatory work on a lightweight 2-span timber structure that connects Burma Dam to Catherine on the border with neighbouring Abary.
“We in this community wanted a bridge very long because when it rains, the dam gets very muddy and so it becomes very difficult for us to move in and out of our community. My parents are also very elderly and so when we need to take them out it’s very hard for us but with the bridge being built, at least the car would be able to come closer to our home,” said Chandrawtie Sookram, a member of that community.
Meanwhile, at Lesbeholden, construction has also begun on a 90 feet span lightweight vehicular bridge, under the supervision of Sergeant Quamina White. The bridge will allow for vehicles to cross the trench separating North and South Lesbeholden. It will be the second vehicular bridge for the community and will primarily benefit cash crop farmers of the community.
“This will be good for us because we farm a lot over at the northern part and many of us were inconvenienced because even though we have the footbridge, we will be happy to have a bridge that at least some vehicles could pass over,” said Mokshattan Persaud, a resident of Lesbeholden.
Similar bridges are slated for construction at Cove and John in Region Four and Prem- Nagar in Region Three.
Government Projects Engineer Brigadier Gary Beaton and a team from the Force’s Engineering Corps recently visited some of the sites where ranks are actively working to ensure the projects stick to timelines.
Added to this, ranks of the Construction Company of the Engineering Corps are also working along with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport to effect an upgrade to the restroom facilities at the Port Mourant Community Centre.
The building once housed an Information Technology Centre but has been retrofitted to accommodate male and female facilities for persons involved in sporting activities at the ground. Sergeant Kevin Adams is the site supervisor for this project.
The teams working on the projects are exclusively members of the Guyana Defence Force and are skilled personnel who are qualified in the field and have successfully completed several engineering projects both within the Force and in several parts of the country.