East Coast residents laud over $377 M road construction
─ Gov’t seeking to duplicate works countrywide
East Coast Demerara residents are now enjoying better accessibility as the government has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to construct roads in several communities.
The projects in communities such as Enmore, Buxton, Annandale and Mon Repos, total about $377.4 million.
Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, MP, and team visited the communities on Wednesday, to get a first hand look at the works which are benefitting thousands of residents. The roads are being constructed by China Railway First Group Company Limited.
Ramaresh Tiwari, Chairman of the Enmore/Hope Neighbourhood Democratic Council said the roads were badly needed as they have been impassable for many years.
“The roads were in bad condition. If you were to talk to the people in the respective communities, they would express gratitude to the government that something positive has been done in their communities after such a long time,” the chairman stated.
Fazal Chung who operates a business in Annandale, welcomed the construction of the roads in the community. Chung said, “this is a wonderful project and this is a big difference. It is going to help the community, a lot for people to get access in here because the road was very bad.”
Head Teacher of Annandale Nursery Roxanne Bancroft, explained that the road was in a very bad condition. Bancroft said when it rains, the street leading to the school becomes flooded and makes it difficult for students and teachers to access the school. She said even taxis at times would refuse to traverse the road.
Today, things have changed and Bancroft said she was “very pleased this morning when I came in, the vehicle was able to drive very smoothly to get in here… we are very grateful for that road because it would enable us to access the school compound much easier.”
Marlyn Welch, Head Teacher of Annandale Primary School was also satisfied with the construction of the road. “That is a great improvement because whenever the rain falls, we usually have large pools of water, children and teacher had difficult times coming in. So, it is very nice that we have a brand-new road right now, we appreciate it very much,” Welch said.
Minister Edghill said the construction of the roads was made possible due to “saving.” The minister said it was done with monies remaining from the four- lane, East Coast Road which was executed by the very Chinese company and supplementary, from government. The roads done are deemed connector roads.
“You would have seen those roads that are being connected are main access roads to villages, roads that carry you to community centres, schools, health centres, high use facilities and high use throughfares we have paid attention to and that is part of our development programme,” the minister said.
The construction of the roads forms part of government’s manifesto promise creating greater access for Guyanese. Minister Edghill said the aim is to replicate the same kind of access countrywide.
“We would like to duplicate that in every village, in every way. So, the assurance I want to give the people of Guyana, as funding becomes available, development would move faster, we can get more done as we get more money. We have the political will, we have the engineering experience, we have the capacity and we are working on phasing that based upon the adequacy of funding,” Minister Edghill stated.
The public works minister said a total 29 connector roads will be completed by the end of the year on the East Coast corridor, creating greater accessibility.