Government has promised to provide rehabilitation work to roads at Port Kaituma, Region One (Barima-Waini) following protest action by residents of that community over the state of the access roads. That is according to Region One Chairman Brentnol Ashley.
Residents of the community have been up in arms over the deplorable state of roads. According to Brian Gomes, a minibus driver of Port Kaituma, for several years they have been suffering as a result of the deplorable road conditions. He says, as a minibus operator, every day he has to purchase spare parts for his vehicle because of the roads. “Every single day something brake, something loose, something you got to tighten,” he related.
According to Gomes, it was during the campaign period leading up to the 2015 General and Regional Elections that residents were promised better roads should the coalition win the election.
“During the campaign trail, they told us at one of our meetings after going around and seeing the deplorable state that the road was in, that we have Jagdeo highways here and when they get into office we will have better roads and so far the road conditions worsen; no changes at all… over a year has passed since elections and we see no improvement. We keep suffering and the conditions with the roads, it worsens.”
“During our protest two weeks ago, one of our demands was that we need the President’s presence here in Port Kaituma because he is the one that promised all the good things of life when he gets into office and so far nothing we receive. Nothing changes in Port Kaituma,” Gomes told Guyana Times.
Chairperson of the Matthews Ridge/Aruka/ Port Kaituma Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) Margret Lambert says it is not only the roads but also bridges in the community that need fixing. According to Lambert, following the protest action that was taken by resident and vehicle operators, the NDC made a commitment to undertake some rehabilitation work.
She said they will be using the services of bulldozers from two residents. The NDC will have to pay $1 million for one of the bulldozers while the service of the other is a donation to the Council. The material which will be used for the initial road rehabilitation project will come at no cost to the NDC; however, they will have to pay for fuel and labour costs.
Meanwhile, Regional Chairman Ashley noted that two contracts have been signed between the Public Infrastructure Ministry and two contractors for the rehabilitation of roads at Port Kaituma. “To be specific of how much the contract sum is I will not be able to say because I have not received any bill of quantities or the scope of work for this project as yet,” the Regional Chairman noted. (Andrew Carmichael)