The $82M Fort Island Stelling in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) is 98 percent completed. The stelling is expected to spur economic activity on the island, where farming and fishing are the main sources of income.
In budget 2022, $38 million was set aside for the completion of the stelling, which now only has minor works to be undertaken. The installation of solar panels, along with minor infrastructural and electrical works are left to be done.
Fort Island is home to about 95 persons and over 200 from the catchment areas. Late last year, Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill visited the island.
Healthcare worker and resident, Preity Debideen spoke of what the construction of the stelling would mean for the community.
“When the stelling is done, persons can go out there and sell at the stelling and they [will] get a daily income… When the stelling build and if the ferry will be landing here, it would encourage more tourism. Persons would take the ferry to come here and whatever we have to sell here, you will showcase it to get it sell.
“The stelling was the backbone of Fort Island years ago where all the residents used to go out there … you used to get your cow milk and boil corn and that is what I want to bring back since we will be having a new stelling,” Debideen said.
The 2022 budget also has monies set aside for the completion of the Leguan and Bartica Stellings at $168 million and $217 million respectively. The Leguan Stelling is slated for completion this year, while monies would be budgeted in 2023 for the completion of the Bartica Stelling.
“It is something that is part of our budget 2022 proposal and we expect in 2022, 2023 the entire Bartica stelling should be completed. Whether it is done by the old contractor or we go to a new contractor, but we are moving towards getting it completed,” Minister Edghill has assured.