More permanent road infrastructure for hinterland – President Ali
The government will be investing in more permanent road infrastructure for the hinterland, particularly mining areas, in order to protect the safe movement of goods and services in the country’s most remote communities.
His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali said the government has recognised the need for proper road infrastructure in the hinterland and therefore, it is developing a medium and long-term solution to the issue.
The president was at the time responding to concerns raised by miners and other private sector representatives during a stakeholders’ engagement at the Bartica Community Centre Ground, Region Seven, on Wednesday.
He said, “the long-term plan is definitely to improve the infrastructure in the hinterland, and access to infrastructure in a more strategic and longer-lasting type of construction than an annual maintenance type.”
The need for the Del Conte Road, as well as the Timehri- Bartica Road link was highlighted by residents during the meeting. They also stressed the need for urgent repairs to be done to the Bartica to Mahdia, and Bartica to Issano roads.
President Ali explained that the Timehri- Bartica Road is one of the government’s transformational projects. He added that the road alignment is currently being cleared to some extent.
As it relates to the Bartica to Mahdia and Issano roads, the head-of-state noted that some contracts were already awarded for works in those areas, however, due to the inclement weather works were stalled.
“You will see actions very soon…so what we want to do is one round of consultation with the miners also to see some other critical areas that we might need to invest in,” he stated.
The president added, “There are some large-scale developers coming with some proposals to do some of the roads also.”
Mining is a major contributor to the country’s GDP and therefore, President Ali emphasised that is important that the necessary infrastructure, particularly roads, are in place to support the industry.
“One of the things that we do as a government is that we make the investments in these roads from the same revenue, so it’s another stream of benefit from mining. So, if there is a bad area, then the stream of mining is low also. So, the government has been filling up some of the gaps,” he asserted.
Region Seven is one of the largest regions in Guyana with over 21 communities which are mostly accessible by air and river transport. President Ali said that the government is developing a plan that will see the region becoming a service hub for the mining sector.