Sod turned for rebuilding of Umana Yana

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Turning on the sod at the reconstruction site of the Umana Yana
Turning on the sod at the reconstruction site of the Umana Yana

[www.inewsguyana.com] – One year after being destroyed by fire, the Umana Yana will rise once again like a phoenix as the sod was turned on Wednesday for its rebuilding and the close a month of festivities surrounding Amerindian culture and traditions.
Addressing the simple sod turning ceremony yesterday, Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples affairs Valerie Garrido – Lowe described the occasion as a fitting end to Heritage celebrations.
The Minister said that it the day it was formally constructed and handed over in 1972 was a historic one and added that its destruction by fire in 2014 was a “sad day” for all.
Of the total cost of 66.7 million dollars, 6 million will be used for a fire suppression system to avoid a repeat of the 2014 fire, and 16 million will be spent on a solar power system, as an alternate energy source.
The foundation will also be raised some 12 inches to alleviate possible flooding. It is expected that the new benab, which will be built using traditional methods by Wai Wai tribe members led by master builder and former Toshao Colin Andrews, will be completed within the next six months.
Materials, which are already being gathered, will be supplied by the villages of Masakenari and Moraikobai
The Umana Yana was a conical palm thatched hut (benab) erected for the Non-Aligned Foreign Ministers Conference in Georgetown, Guyana in August 1972 as a V.I.P. Lounge and recreation centre. Situated on Main Street next to the Pegasus Hotel, it is now a permanent and much admired part of Georgetown’s scenery, and is in constant use as an exhibition and conference centre.
On September 9, 2014 the Umana Yana was gutted by an electrical fire and destroyed.

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