The Burma Access Road at Mahaicony, Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), requires an urgent facelift since farmers are facing severe difficulties in manoeuvring their machines to reach farmlands.
In light of serious concerns, they contacted Guyana Times on Friday, noting that there are huge holes throughout the stretch of roadway. Some contractors would have started works, but dug up holes and left the roadway in a worse state. Now, trucks and tractors cannot easily reach rice lands.
“We now in a position that the road is so bad. When the rain fall, the big holes full up with water and the tractor get stuck up on the road. Then you got to get another one to pull you out. This situation is really, really bad for us cause is every day we got to use the road. What will happen if we don’t check on the crops,” one farmer contended.
Another issue is the absence of streetlights, he noted, which brings an additional danger of causing accidents. For this, the farmer called on authorities to invest resources to fix the dilapidated infrastructure, to bring an end to their years-long suffering.
Last year, farmers were also up in arms about the state of affairs, noting that while part of the road is partially covered with asphalt, other sections are made up of silt – which disintegrates after a shower of rain.
“The water just wash away the top layer on the road and it’s one big mess. The road soft and when the tractor drive over, that’s what causing the big [holes]. People have crops there and it’s a real frustrating situation we facing as farmers. Since 2018, we ask for them to fix it and nothing till now,” one resident was quoted as saying.
The Burma Road provides access to 450 acres of cultivated land, while the Mahaicony Branch Road allows access to 25,000 acres of land. Both roads are in a deplorable state, with countless pleas by farmers for it to be rehabilitated.
In 2019, farmers had complained that they were disenfranchised from accessing viable markets due to the situation at that time. Regional Vice Chairman Rian Pieters was questioned about the lack of initiative by the regional administration to assist rice farmers in the region but he had said the issue is not one the region can solve nor take the blame for.
According to Pieters at that time, it is not the regional administration that must be blamed but rather the Finance Ministry under the former coalition Administration.
For the 2020 Emergency Budget, $600 million was approved in supplemental funding for road upgrades and construction, with Public Works Minister Juan Edghill revealing that the deplorable state of roads in Guyana is one of the major problems the Government inherited from the last Administration. (G12)