Govt to transform Amerindian communities with several road work projects

Closing infrastructural gaps in hinterland communities for holistic development and improved quality of life for the country’s first people remains a priority of the government.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill announced on Wednesday that in demonstration of this commitment, a slew of infrastructural projects is poised to commence within two weeks.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill

These initiatives were conceived as a result of deliberations with Toshaos from diverse indigenous communities during day three of the National Toshaos Council (NTC) Conference, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), Liliendaal.

During a fruitful consultation with the community leaders, Minister Edghill stated that the government has earmarked some $300 million to facilitate the development of community roads in Region Eight.

The public works minister made it clear that the works will be executed by members of the community as requested.

“At the level of community engagement based upon the procurement law, we can go up to $5 million. But what we did last year is that we entered into more than one contract so that we can be able to extend the work. Like what we did in 2021 and 2022, we will continue in 2023 by issuing the community with contracts to continue to upgrade their roads,” he explained.

Minister Edghill also said the ongoing works on the 12-mile route to Moruca in Region One have made significant headway, with rigid pavement concrete extending past the airstrip.

The vision is to extend this advancement into the Kwebanna community.

Simultaneously, works are slated for the Moruca Sub-district bridge, with efforts progressing from both ends to expedite completion.

Concerns regarding waterlogging on the roads to Capoey were also addressed.

The minister promised a thorough examination of the issue, stating that should any defects surface, the contractor will be held accountable for rectification.

“Just to say, the contractor didn’t do it the right way. There is a defects liability period that is in any contract. From that contract, he will have to complete it. So, we are not going to play in this matter,” Minister Edghill said.

Meanwhile, aligning with the government’s overarching mission to ensure seamless connectivity between villages and the main thoroughfare, an additional commitment has been made to overhaul dilapidated bridges within communities.

Several ongoing projects aim to improve the livelihoods of Amerindians and indigenous people in tourism, commerce, health, and education.

This year’s NTC Conference is themed, Advancing sustainable village development in a low carbon economy.”