Govt actively rehabilitating hinterland roads after rainfall season – Sukhai
Government is actively rehabilitating roads and trails within the hinterland that were damaged by the previous rainfall season, and plans have been activated to facilitate new networks within the regions.
Amerindian Affairs Minister, Pauline Sukhai told media operatives in a recent interview that several areas were affected during the last wet season in the month of May and June. As such, works have started to restore this infrastructure.
“Over the recent flooding when we had heavy rainfall, many of the roads were damaged and people couldn’t pass. Currently, they have completed upgrading the Mahdia Road. They’re still working on it but one of the major bottlenecks is the hills which is posing a great danger and difficulty for travellers.”
She added, “The two contractors have been mobilised to upgrade those roads and they have done some work on it. Heading to those areas are a bit easier. As the rain continue to damage roads, I can assure that there will be challenges but our Government is working to ensure that those challenges are addressed as we are faced with them.”
Between Tuseneng to Monkey Mountain, she highlighted that a $100 million project is underway to provide a better linkage for residents.
“Right now, all those roads are being maintained. I just returned and it is really an upgrade. Villages have been able to work. They have received payments for their work. They have received 50 per cent of the payments for the work that has been done and upon completion, they will receive another 50 million, which is taking them to $100 million,” Sukhai noted.
Government has set aside $2 billion for such projects and a major one is the connectivity between the South Pakaraimas to the North Pakaraimas. The Linden to Lethem trail is also included.
But even with proper infrastructure, the Minister said villages have been supported with 112 tractors through the Ministry to support sustainable economic trade. As it is, the COVID-19 pandemic would have negatively impacted livelihoods for over a year.
“These tractors are going to the villages all across the hinterland. It will support agriculture, forestry, transportation and we expect that it will stimulate much more economic activities. Those areas have been impacted negatively and now we’ll be able to provide an important piece of machinery. We are very confident that those villages will benefit in terms of food security, stable livelihoods and sustainable economic activities.”
Among the developmental projects in the pipeline for Indigenous villages is also the establishment of ICU hubs, currently being done to the tune of US$17 million. This is expected to revolutionise communication and connectivity in hinterland communities.
“They are currently doing a lot of assessments with respect to the internet hubs. A few communities have already been up and running. We have 200 communities that are expected to have internet connectivity with greater level of bandwidth and stronger connectivity so that we will be able to support the online students…The hinterland residents who are producing crops will be able to use the internet to contact people who are interested in buying from them and also for advertisement,” she added. (G12)