No seawall vendor has been dislocated – Min Edghill assures

Some of the fixed structures along the Seawall in Georgetown

No vendor operating at the Georgetown Seawall has been dislocated, according to Public Works Minister Juan Edghill as he responded to a statement issued by the Institute for Action Against Discrimination (IFAAD).

During an interview with this publication, the Minister explained that the Government’s priority is to ensure compliance with regulations while minimising disruption to the vendors’ livelihoods.

The exercise also aims to beautify the landmark area and minimise the disposal of garbage along the bandstand.

Public Works Minister Juan Edghill meeting with seawall vendors last week

As a result, only permanent structures surrounding vending caravans have been dismantled, and latrines removed in accordance with established guidelines. Additionally, all vendors have been aligned within the designated distance from the edge of the road as part of the ongoing exercise.

Edghill further stated that the majority of vendors complied promptly with the requirements, and as such, the Government has extended the timeline for those who require additional time to remove valuable items.

“When we started this exercise of getting the seawall properly arranged, it was a wild west. We have moved more than 10 truckloads of garbage, old fridges and things that weren’t being used and the people themselves helped us to pack the trucks to get rid of the garbage,” Edghill explained.

He added that the exercise was ongoing, and the Government remained committed to working closely with the vendors to facilitate a smooth transition while upholding regulatory standards.

Some of the mobile vending units on the Georgetown Seawall

In response to claims of racial marginalisation and discrimination of Afro-Guyanese, the Public Works Minister urged the IFAAD to properly observe the matter before making public statements.

On this point, he clarified that Afro-Guyanese were not being targeted, and urged organisations to stop utilising current events to “push their racist agenda”.

“If organisations want people to take them seriously; at least, they must operate from the standpoint of truth and have some credibility. But for you to say that vendors have been removed – and tonight (Saturday evening), last night and tomorrow night everybody will be on the seawall and see the vendors operating in an orderly manner – is inaccurate.”


Persons who have received permission from the Sea and River Defence Board to vend along the Georgetown seawall area will be able to continue vending, but individuals who are unlawfully vending in the area will not be permitted to do so.

According to the Minister, any misinformation that was spread which claimed that the Government was removing vendors from the seawall was a clear sign of mischief-making.
Edghill stated that the Government planned to ensure that every person who has a licence to vend on the seawall knows the conditions under which they must vend.

“Your vending space should be no more than 100 square feet, and you should be 15 feet away from the edge of the road, and you should always clean up after every vending,” he stated, adding that all of the spaces should be aesthetically pleasing in correlation to what the Government has been doing to beautify the country.

Edghill then took the time to highlight that as these conditions have been put in place within the vendors’ contracts, some vendors have disobeyed and gone to areas that were not designated for them and this would not be tolerated by the Ministry.

“There will be no vending around the roundabout and the monument, and you would have seen that we have already cleared that area,” Edghill, who reaffirmed the contracts, stated.
Meanwhile, he urged that vendors should reread their contracts to stay up to date with the agreements they have signed. “All vendors need to do is to get in line with what their permit has said. So, I make it very clear, vending will continue along the seawall, lawlessness will not be continued,” Edghill reaffirmed.

Edghill noted that the Government needed to be reasonable with its decisions as the seawall serves as a sea defence reserve and at any time anything drastic could happen and the Government would need access to the area.