The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), with the support of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), is moving forward with the maintenance of several roads in the hinterland.
According to the MNR, these are being done in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI).
It was outlined that under the GGMC Act, the Commission can assist in providing access to mining areas.
In his 2018 National Budget speech, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman had said that his ministry plans to work with the Ministry of Public Infrastructure to improve the intricate road network in the six mining districts.
Approximately $2 billion has been earmarked for repairs under this initiative.
On May 3, 2018, six road contracts valued at over $650M were awarded to various contractors for the maintenance of the Rockstone-Mabura, Kurupukari-Annai-Lethem and the Linden-Ituni-Kwakwani Roads. This is in addition to a previous contract awarded to JR Ranch for the Manari Bridge approach realignment in Region 9, Rupununi valued at $83M.
The roads were identified following discussions with the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association and several miners and forest operators who had explained that the condition of the roads was hindering their production efforts and costing them more to move supplies in and out of the interior.
“Ultimately, it is government’s intention to assist miners and foresters to achieve and maintain high yields of production, and as has occured in the past, the intervention became necessary” a MNR statement posited while highlighting that concerns raised by hinterland residents during outreaches conducted by them also guided the decision by Minister Trotman to see the re-engagement of the MNR in hinterland roads maintenance.
“In particular, rehabilitation of the Linden-Ituni- Kwakwani Road, Region 10, will recommence at the end of the May-June rainy season” the statement said.
The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission through the Ministry of Natural Resources awarded the contracts for the repairs to the road to International Imports and Supplies to the tune of $239.7M. The contractor has mobilised equipment at site and marking out of the road has commenced.
According to the MNR, “the Linden-Kwakwani road is an important conduit for forest operators and repairs will also benefit the residents of these two communities and those along the corridor including the residents of Ituni and Aroaima. Persons living along the Berbice River will also benefit. The works include ditching, excavating, section repairs of soft spot and filling with laterite.”
Also in Region Ten, maintenance of the Rockstone-Mabura Road should commence at the end of the rainy season. A $140.4M contract was awarded to MMC Inc. for this project.
“Meanwhile, maintenance of the Annai to Lethem Road should commence in the first week of June pending facilitating weather. A contract for $139.3 M was awarded to D&R Construction and Machinery Rental on May 3, 2018. The contractor has submitted all bonds and the mobilisation advance is being processed. The contract for the continuing section of the road from Annai to Kurupukari was awarded on the same date to MMC Inc. and work was scheduled to commence in the final week of May” said the Natural Resources Ministry.
It was also outlined that the realignment of the Manari Bridge approach is also expected to start at the end of the rainy season.
An $83 million contract was awarded to JR Ranch for this project. This realignment has become necessary following several accidents and a promise made by government to intervene.