Guyana/Suriname ferry service to resume daily operations on Oct 24

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Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill, on Monday led the team of Directors from the Boards of the Canawaima Management Company and the Canawaima Ferry Service Inc. for a joint meeting with their Surinamese counterparts to discuss the operations of the ferry plying the Moleson Creek-South Drain route. The Surinamese delegation was led by Minister of Transport, Communications and Tourism, Albert Jubithana.

Among the agenda items discussed were the readiness of the Canawaima vessel to resume operations after an extensive period in dry-dock, the development of an online booking platform, the auditing of the accounts, and several management, operational and financial matters, all to improve the service, and the management of the company.

Minister Edghill in his opening remarks thanked the Surinamese team for their arrangements and hospitality and after a brief introduction of the Guyanese delegation, lauded the cooperation between Guyana’s President Dr. Irfaan Ali and Suriname’s President, Chandrikapersad Santokhi. The Minister informed the delegation that it is important to have a service where there is greater level of accountability, transparency and shared information. Under these objectives, there is a need for a new approach on how Canawaima Ferry is managed and dealt with.

Despite historical issues, under the new administrations of both countries, a new approach and cooperation built on shared partnership will be instituted. Guyana’s minister lauded his counterpart for embracing this approach.

“At the end of the day, it is about the interest of the people of both countries and as such the transportation system linking both sides must be developed,” Minister Edghill continued in his opening remarks.

After briefly going through the agenda, the delegation broke out into two groups for in depth discussions and decision-making. The 6-member Boards of both Canawaima Management Company and the Canawaima Ferry Service Inc. made several key decisions.

It was agreed that:

Effective from Monday 11th October 2021 the M.B. Sandaka which is currently plying the route will operate three (3) times per week, being Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The vessel is currently operating twice per week. The increase in service will follow all COVID-19 regulations from the health authorities in both countries.

Subject a joint final inspection and approval from regulatory maritime authorities, the Canawaima Ferry will resume daily service on 24th October, 2021.

A joint Terms of Reference will be drafted and advertised for the hiring of a consultant to assess the booking systems with a view to propose an online booking platform.