River defence in the works for Fort Island

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fort island 2[www.inewsguyana.com] – An additional river defence structure will be built on Fort Island by the Ministry of Public Works to preserve one of Guyana’s historical landmarks – Fort Zeelandia – which is located 16 kilometers from the mouth of the Essequibo River.

“We are in the process of mobilizing the materials and manpower. Hon. Benn [Minister of Public Works] has instructed that we have to start in one month’s time,” said Kevin Samad, Chief River and Sea Defence Officer.

In addition to that, other vulnerable areas that require intervention on the island will be corrected.

On May 21, Minister Benn visited the island, which was the site for the Ministry’s monthly Managers meeting. The meeting was held in the historic Court of Policy (circa 1752) building.

Meanwhile, amidst the ruins of Fort Zeelandia, Minister Benn opined that educational tours should recommence on the island.Fort Island 1

“Fort Island is rich in history. Students from all levels of the school system should be able to walk through history, something that they could never experience in the classroom,” he stated.

In this regard, Benn intends to continue discussions with the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony on how to proceed with ideas for regeneration of activities on the island.

Fort Zeelandia and the Court of Policy were built during the period of Dutch occupation in the 1700s. The two structures were part of a large colonial settlement that extended along the north eastern section of the island.

In 1999, the Fort and the Court of Policy were declared National Monuments by the Government and are maintained by the National Trust of Guyana.  

 

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