Home Letters Directive must be given for continuous maintenance of road
I would like to bring attention to the deplorable condition of the access road for the Yaya pontoon crossing of the Essequibo River. This is a critical piece of road infrastructure for gold miners, loggers, and other Guyanese who depend on access to Omai, 72 Miles, Issano, in between, and beyond for their livelihoods.
The condition of this access road has worsened in the last year, exacerbated by increasing movements of log trucks and protracted rainy seasons.
Concern over their own safety – and that of their vehicles and cargo – has forced some truck operators to consider suspending their operations until this eight-mile stretch of road is restored to a safe and acceptable condition. The poor condition of this road costs time and money when vehicles are stuck or need to be repaired. This, in turn, affects the profitability of operations, and further, their viability.
In previous years, the Mekdeci Mining Company – which has sole control of this crossing (and others nationwide) – has honoured its responsibility to maintain the ingress from Yaya turn-off to the crossing, and the egress from point of disembarkation up to Issano Road turn-off.
However, there has been close to zero effort to conduct any maintenance in the last year.
At least 4 vehicles can cross with the Mekdeci pontoon leaving every hour between the hours of 6:00h and 18:00h and at a cost of some $9,000 for a pickup truck and $45,000 for a double axel truck, and upwards for lorries and other equipment.
Surely, some of this income can be set aside for maintenance of the roads which bring vehicles to their crossing.
The necessary directive must be given by the Government agency which governs the Mekdeci pontoon operations, for regular maintenance to resume immediately and much needed relief brought to the Yaya road users. The livelihoods of hard-working Guyanese depend on it.