Road link from Orealla, Siparuta to Kwakwani to open up opportunities for residents, sustain economic activities

Residents of Orealla and Siparuta in Region Six are in high anticipation of the road that would link their communities to Kwakwani in Region 10. The construction of the road is a collaborative effort between the Ministries of Public Works and Natural Resources.

On Tuesday, Public Works Minister, Bishop Juan Edghill, Natural Resources Minister, Vickram Bharrat and a technical team visited the two communities to interact with residents and make an assessment of works needed to be undertaken on the road.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, MP

Lloyd Peneux described the construction of the road as one of the “best ideas” that has thus far come from Government. Peneux believes that the road will have a great economic impact on the two communities.

“It would open up new lands for us to do agriculture. It would open up an access to Georgetown to those big companies like Barama who is buying logs from us right now. Thirdly or most importantly, tourism. People coming from Kwakwani coming through the trails to Orealla, it would boost tourism on a large scale here in Orealla,” he said.

Lloyd Peneux, Resident

David Henry hailed the construction of the road as a plus for the two communities. “Right now, we are going through the river to the closest town… so we can do more by having the road, we can take our produce directly to the towns by vehicles so it would be very helpful for Orealla and Siparuta,” Henry said.

Nikita Roopchand also commended the construction of the road link. She said, “the road from Kwakwani to Orealla – I am hoping it will give us the same opportunities of more tourism, more job opportunities and I am hoping that we will get these things done.”

Nikita Roopchand, Resident

Minister Edghill addressing residents, said one of the main issues the road will address is accessibility. He said the road is about 80 kilometres and will be undertaken in a phased manner. The minister described the road as an important link that will foster greater economic activity.

“We have to be able, while we work with the Natural Resources sector, to develop your capacity for logging, sawmilling and other value -added coming out of the forestry sector, your products must be able to get to the market with ease in a cost-effective manner.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill interacting with a resident from Siparuta

“Your government by just the intervention of the partnership between the partnership between the Geology and Mines and Ministry of Public Works in getting the road, pushed through from Orealla to Kwakwani is ensuring economic activity in your community is sustained, expanded and diversified to other things that you can do. So, it is an important thing.”

However, Minister Edghill noted that a critical element to the construction of the road is the involvement of the community.

“What I appeal today for is a healthy partnership, government and people for the development of community and the development of country… wherever people are, government and community seeing a vision for development and working through, and navigating difficult path to ensure that communities are developed which would mean ultimately, the country is developing.”

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, MP

Meanwhile, Minister Bharrat called on residents to look at the long-term benefits of the road network. He said while it will create a link to Region 10, government is also working on upgrading the road network link from Region 10 to Region Nine, which would ultimately create a link to Brazil.

Those are all the possibilities that exist because Minister Edghill is working on a massive project and we have already secured the loan to build a highway from Linden to Mabura. That is halfway going to Brazil… it is not about going to Brazil but it is the opportunities that it will open up especially in terms of trade,” he noted.

The first phase of the road link will be undertaken by Romel Jagroop General Construction Services. On Tuesday, the contractor was also on site to get a first-hand look at the work that needs to be undertaken and also to get input from residents of the two communities.