Ongoing road works to facilitate drilling of South Rupununi wells

DPI, Guyana, Friday September 21, 2018

The Ministry of Public Infrastructure has commenced urgent repairs to the roads and bridges in the South Rupununi to allow for smooth travel to the communities where eight wells will be drilled shortly.

This follows a request by the Government of Brazil, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure that those roads which will be used to access the eight communities can accommodate the flow of vehicles and equipment.

A Complementary Agreement to the Basic Agreement on Technical Cooperation was signed between the Presidents of Guyana and Brazil last year, and will see the Brazilian Army Engineering and Construction Battalion (BEC) drilling eight wells. The wells will be drilled in eight Indigenous villages from South Rupununi to provide water security to villages during the dry season in the region.

The project was divided into three lots with Lot One being Lethem to Aishalton (North to South), Lot two Aishalton to Shea (South to East) and Lot Three Aishalton to Baishaidrum (South to West).
Region Nine Engineer, Rafael Lewis informed the Department of Public Information (DPI) that to date, the rehabilitation works are progressing and are expected to be completed by the deadline.
“We decided to start the works from two different ends; from Shea and Aishalton. The most challenging part of the project is the road to Baishaidrum. It’s basically a trail but we’ll get through it and the work will be completed by the time the Brazilian army gets here,” Lewis explained.

Lots One and Two were awarded to JR Ranch Incorporated and International Import Supplies construction companies respectively. Lot Three will be done by the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).
Manager for International Import and Supplies, Roshan Rampersaud said from Aishalton to Awarewaunau has been completed after which they will move on to Maruranau and Shea. All the works will be completed in three weeks’ time he assured.

“We have four areas completed and ready to be used. The roads were basically trails we had to excavate a lot of soft spots. Our scope of works was to open the width of the road, use gravel and install culverts. We had some challenges with using the heavy equipment on the swampy areas, but we will have all our works completed before the deadline,” Rampersaud said.
The scope of work initially awarded to International Import and Supplies only involved the filling of potholes. However, the contractor is also carrying out comprehensive work such as grading and shaping of the road.

Prior to the works, only motorcycles were capable of traversing the road, however following the upgrade, motor vehicles and trucks can now traverse. Residents have commended the contractor, who has completed several other major projects including the Port Kaituma to Matthews Ridge and the recent maintenance on the Linden/Lethem/Ituni roads, for the outstanding works. The other contractor will soon commence his phase of the work.

These rehabilitated roads are expected to withstand the elements long after the wells have been drilled.

Ranetta La Fleur

Images: Tejpaul Bridgemohan