Construction on Linden to Lethem road to start in 2021

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Construction works for the Linden to Lethem Road Project is likely to begin next year, says Public Works Minister Juan Edghill.

Funding for the project was put on hold by the British Government owing to the recently-concluded political upheaval in Guyana.

Minister Edghill told INews that the Guyana Government is currently working out the funding details with the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIF).

According to Edghill, he also has an upcoming meeting with the British High Commission.

In addition, the Government is engaging technical experts at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and it is quite possible that construction can start next year.

“We are working with the UKCIF. We’re engaging the CDB, the technical experts there. Because the pot of money that is available from the UKCIF, our preference is to use that money to deliver the Linden-to-Mabura road – US$150 million.

“We have to conclude the discussion and agree on some small principles that are still to be worked out. But, definitely, it’s going to be in the 2021 agenda – actual construction,” Edghill further explained.

The Linden to Lethem road, a key link between Guyana and Brazil with the potential to boost trade, is at present little more than an unsurfaced trail that deteriorates in rainfall.

As such, the UKCIF programme, administered through the CDB, will be providing funding for the first phase of the road from Linden to Mabura Hill, as well as a crossing at Kurupaukari.

The fund has in fact allocated a total of £53.2 million to Guyana to fund several projects, including the road. With the 2018 no-confidence motion and the former Government’s delay in calling elections, however, these developmental projects were put on pause.

Former British High Commissioner to Guiyana Greg Quinn had said last September that no decision had been taken on continuing funding for the road, as well as funding for the Kingston-Ogle seawall project, another UKCIF-funded project.