Guyana receives US$112M CDB loan for Linden-Mabura Road

-Dr Singh lauds Gov’t for re-engaging CDB to fast-track the award

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Hon. Dr.  Ashni Singh, today, lauded the Government’s efforts to secure a US$112 million loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to upgrade the Linden-Mabura Hill road.

The CDB approved the US$112 million loan for the 121-kilometre-long road on Thursday.

The US$190 million road is being funded jointly by the CDB, the United Kingdom (UK) and Guyana.  The UK is providing US$66 million and Guyana, the remaining US$12 million.

“We are deeply appreciative of the support of the CDB’s support to Guyana for this project; it is a big project,” Minister Singh told DPI.

Dr. Singh lauded the Government’s robust efforts, over the past few months, in facilitating a stable political environment that would allow foreign lending institutions to release funds to the country.

“Since the return of democracy to Guyana on 2nd August, as you would have seen President Irfaan Ali, his Government has set about in a very, very diligent way to reengage the international community with a view to restoring the relationships with our major development partners, multilateral and bilateral…the discussion on this project has been going on for a long time so the conversation on the project in fact predates our demitting of office in 2015,” he said.

Dr. Singh also highlighted the economic impact of paving the road; increased tourism, trade and direct employment in the construction sector.  “It enhances connectivity with parts of Guyana that were previously not so easy to access. Improved accessibility means creation of economic opportunities whether it is for agricultural purposes, whether it is for any other economic activity.”

The Minister added that more movement between districts and communities will create more jobs.  

“If people are able to transit through Linden and move on to Mabura and ultimately to Lethem, that generates investments and that creates economic activity. Then it also means creation of jobs including jobs for the people who live in Linden and elsewhere in Guyana. But the actual construction of the road will also generate activities,” Dr. Singh said.

The Caribbean Development Bank, in a statement, highlighted the improved connectivity between the coast and hinterland, when the road works are completed.

“The project is the first phase of a wider plan to develop a transportation corridor from Georgetown, the capital city, to Lethem on the southwest border; connecting the Port in Georgetown with northern Brazil,” the statement said.

The road project will also include measures to ensure residents along the stretch benefit from the infrastructural development.

“Residents in the remote communities along the Linden to Mabura Hill corridor will see immediate benefits from improved access to basic essential services and an expansion in economic activity. The project will also bolster ecotourism along the corridor by improving access to several nature reserves, such as the Iwokrama Rain Forest.”

The Linden-Mabura Hill road is one section of the 450-kilometre roadway from Linden to Lethem; a road that becomes nearly impassable during the wet season.

Minister of Public Infrastructure, Hon. Juan Edghill has said construction of the largely unsurfaced road will begin next year.