Surama, an indigenous community, set against the backdrop of the Pakaraima Mountains, sits on five square miles of savannah lands. It is now benefitting from a rehabilitated airstrip which it hopes will bring larger aircraft to the North Rupununi village.
The airstrip was rebuilt at a cost of $5M with funds provided from the Community Development Project (CDP).
Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock who recently visited the community and inspected the airstrip is of the view that the runway will boost Surama’s tourism efforts. The previous airstrip was much shorter and needed repairs to the surface, and could only have accommodated small aircraft.
“The feeling is that a good airstrip will be able to accommodate bigger aircraft bringing more comfort to the customers and also in the event of medevac, you have direct and quick landing for evacuation,” Minister Allicock said.
The village of 300 residents is home to the Surama Eco-lodge, and the airstrip’s expansion by 1300 meters will enhance facilities for visitors to the lodge. More visitors will mean increased income for villagers who can sell their products. Minister Allicock said there are plans to extend it further and to use a new technology on the surface.
“For now we believe that this is good enough. The company is saying that they will return later-on to cap the surface with a transparent substance that is going to keep the soil together.”
Surama offers an eco-tourism package from the Eco-lodge with guided excursions through the village to Burro-Burro River, Tiger Pond, Surama Mountain through sightseeing, birding, canoeing and hiking among many other interactions with nature. (GINA)