Residents welcome $290M road development in Region 8

Some 15,000 residents from 28 villages in Region 8 (Potaro-Siparuni), will benefit from improved transportation networks, as government inked $290 million in contracts on June 3.

Minister of Public Works Bishop Juan Edghill and Minister of Amerindian Affairs Pauline Sukhai handing over a contract to Toshao of Kato, Elvan James

Under the agreements, a total of 917 kilometres of road maintenance, including debushing, filling of laterite and repairs to 31 timber bridges will be completed over a six-month period. 

In 2021, $100 million was allocated for similar works in 12 villages. 

Overlooking the signings in Kato and Mahdia were Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, Minister of Amerindian Affairs Pauline Sukhai, Regional Chairman and Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Public Works Vldim Persaud.  

Minister of Public Works Bishop Juan Edghill and Minister of Amerindian Affairs Pauline Sukhai along with Leaders of Region Eight

Minister Edghill reiterated the PPP/C Government’s commitment to support the development of local village economies though the creation of job opportunities. Under the contracts signed, local contractors and workers from Region 8 are expected to execute all works outlined.

Toashao Candace Evans, Karisparu

Lauding the government’s initiative, Toshao Candace Evans of Karisparu said her community will enjoy easier access to other communities once the project is completed. “Currently our airstrip is shut down and we don’t have any access to Mahdia or elsewhere so I am very grateful for this contract because once we fix the road, we will get access to Paramakatoi and people would be able to buy their ration from there and also for the patients we would transport them to Paramakatoi from Karisparu at this moment.”

Toshao Wesley Pablo, Kopinang

Toshao Wesley Pablo of Kopinang explained that the roads connecting his village to several satellite communities are very deplorable. “It is in bad condition especially in the mountains.  … I slide down back two or three times this morning and it is about one hour riding from Kamana to Kopinang”

Acknowledging the challenges many hinterland residents experience, Minister Edghill assured Toshaos of government’s commitment to ensure every Guyanese benefit equally.

“Our development agenda is not just to develop Georgetown and make it bright and put-up lights and nice fancy buildings. So, when you come to town you look and say Georgetown looking nice. Our development agenda is that you must be in Kato or in Itabac or in Kanapang or in Tuschenen or wherever, you must be able to look at your community and say my community looking nice as well.”

Residents were also urged to follow the bill of quantities when executing the works.

Contracts were signed by the Monkey Mountain, Tuseneng, Bamboo Creek, Paramakatoi and Kato village councils. Red Creek, Karisparu, Taruka, Yawong, Maiwak CDC, Arasawa, along with 19 other villages also signed contracts.