AS Guyana observes Tourism Awareness Month, works are currently ongoing at the Kingston Seawall to develop that area into one of the city’s major tourist hubs. The redevelopment of this once thriving commercial and cultural centre forms part of the First Lady’s National Beautification Project.
It is being executed in partnership with the Ministry of Public Works and corporate sponsors. What was intended to be a moderate facelift of the bandstand area has now become an elaborate plan to boost tourism in the capital city, a release said.
“As we continue to welcome investors and tourists to our beautiful Guyana, it is very important for the physical appearance of the country to complement the investment climate,” First Lady Arya Ali has said.
Mrs. Ali shared that it is critical for Guyana to capitalise on the social and economic opportunities which come from having an influx of foreigners. Equally important, she said, was ensuring that Guyana protects its environmental credentials.
“This is why I pursued this project and made it part of my National Beautification Project; because these kinds of initiatives must have environmental considerations, and must fall within the sustainable development framework,” the First Lady noted.
The National Beautification Project aims to safeguard and enhance the scenic qualities of Guyana’s roadways, and urban and rural spaces, while simultaneously creating a more environmentally-friendly society.
Presently, reinforced concrete drains are being built opposite the bandstand to expand the landspace for the construction of food kiosks. Twenty-five units are expected to be erected in the coming months; 13 of them by a corporate sponsor, and the remaining 12 by the Ministry of Public Works.
Not only would this help to create employment, but it would also assist in the regulation and monitoring of vending in and around the area, the release said. To eliminate the existing issue of flooding, slipper and sub-surface drains are under construction on the periphery of the bandstand to improve drainage, while rehabilitative works will be done to restore the bandstand to its pristine state.
The recently-included boardwalk north of the bandstand will be extended to the ‘roundhouse’ behind the Pegasus Hotel, while the tarmac area will be fully resurfaced with asphalt. Accessing the tarmac area will no longer be a worry for persons in wheelchairs, since a ramp is currently under construction.
Both design and funding for a sanitary block have been approved by a corporate sponsor. The facility will be built adjacent to the food kiosks, and a promenade will extend to the ‘I Love Guyana’ sign.
The entire area, the release said, will also benefit from improved security, with the inclusion of a police outpost, patrol officers, and increased lighting.
Thirty new garbage bins will also be installed around the area to improve solid waste management. A commitment has also been made by one of the country’s leading telecommunications companies to provide free Wi-Fi within the vicinity of the bandstand and tarmac.
Prior to the completion of this project in the first quarter of next year, it is the First Lady’s intention to engage the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to have live cultural performances return to the bandstand.
“I hope that upon completion of this very ambitious project, we value and take pride in what is ours. I want everyone to benefit from this undertaking; and they must do so, conscious of the work that went into making it possible,” the First Lady said.