Improved accessibility, lower cost of living for Regions 9, 10  

Travel time between Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) and Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) will be significantly reduced. Tenders are out for a contract in excess of $100 million for works on 26 kilometres of the road that links the two regions.

Works will be executed from Yurong Paru to Monkey Mountain. Improved accessibility also means that the cost of living will be reduced for the over 20,000 residents between the two regions. Works to improve the road network were announced by Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill during a recent visit to Kato, Region Eight.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill

“Those of you that want to get to Region Nine and get to Brazil, you must be able to get that connectivity,” Minister Edghill stated.

“When we have that road completed, and trucks can come through Karasabai, and get down all the way to Monkey Mountain, the cost of supplies, building materials, food, everything will go down because you don’t have to fly it in, it will be able to come through by way of trucks,” he added.

In Potaro-Siparuni, gold and diamond mining and forestry are mainly what the people depend on for their livelihoods. While in Region Nine farming is largely done with a heavy focus on chickens and cattle rearing. The link between the two regions means increased economic activities for those people.

A before and after of one of the bridges repaired

Minister Edghill also highlighted that when government awarded the contract to construct the Kato Secondary School, the contractor had complained of losing machines using the route in order to construct the school. With the road works are ongoing, wear and tear on vehicles are expected to be significantly reduced.

“I want to assure you, we are not just talking the talk, we are walking the walk. Last year we executed some work and currently for 2022, we are continuing that phase because we want to be able to connect Regions Nine and Eight,” Minister Edghill said.

Last year, government invested $150 million to repair several bridges and 37 Kilometres of road from Tipiru to Yurong Paru. The total length of the road link from Monkey Mountain, Region eight to Lethem, Region Nine is approximately 150 kilometres.

A section of the road which was done last year

Only recently, government signed contracts worth $290 million with 28 communities in Region Eight to improve connectivity between villages.

Additionally, Government also signed a US$190 million contract to construct 121 kilometres of road from Linden to Mabura Hill, Region 10, and a contract to the tune of $3.1 billion to construct 32 concrete bridges along the Kurupukari-Lethem corridor to facilitate the asphaltic road that will eventually lead from Linden to Lethem.

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