[www.inewsguyana.com] – The re-construction of the Umana Yana, a site of significant importance to Guyana’s indigenous peoples, is moving apace, to the extent that the foundation has been completed, one month ahead of schedule.
Kieraj Bissessar, Project Engineer from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure informed the Government Information Agency (GINA) that the project will now be handed over to the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs early in January for the implementation of the next phase of work.
“We went to tender on November 18 with the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and R.P. Construction agency for the construction of the foundational works of the Umana Yana which totalled $7.135M…this was to be completed in two months,” Bissessar indicated.
Whilst the foundation was raised to approximately 12 inches to prevent possible future flooding, solar electrical distribution and cooling systems will be installed, along with a sprinkler system.
The new benab will be constructed using traditional methods by members of the Wai Wai tribe with materials being supplied by the villages of Masakenari and Moraikobai.
The Umana Yana was erected in August of 1972, as a VIP Lounge and Recreation Centre. The palm-thatched benab was erected for the Non-Aligned Foreign Ministers’ Conference in Guyana.
The 55-foot high cone-shaped benab was constructed by Amerindians of the Wai Wai tribe from thatched allibanna and manicole palm leaves, and wallaba posts lashed together with mukru, turu and nabbi vines.
The Umana Yana was destroyed in 2014 by fire believed to have been of electrical origin.