Travelling around Region One will soon become easier as the Ministry of Public Infrastructure prepares to undertake rehabilitation of several roads in the Barima-Waini region.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson said six lots in the Port Kaituma and Mabaruma areas will benefit from upgrades.
The Central Kaituma Wharf road to old road junction, Port Kaituma will be rehabilitated under Lot 1. Under Lot two, phase two, the Port Kaituma to Matthews Ridge section will be repaired. Lot three will cater for Central Kaituma catwalk road to Oronoque, Port Kaituma while under Lot 4, the Port Kaituma road from airstrip to Fitsburg Housing Scheme will be done. The Kumaka junction to the waterfront by the market road area in Mabaruma will be done under Lot five while the Mabaruma main township road to airstrip road will be rehabilitated under Lot six.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson
The Minister explained that those roads are expected to be completed by the end of 2017. She added that some challenges such as heavy rainfall may delay works which could see the project being completed in 2018.
The scope of works will see full rehabilitation of the roads using laterite, construction of culverts and auxiliary road works. “Majority of those roads are laterite roads so we would be using the laterite material along with a stabilised material so those are the materials that would be used to construct or repair the roads in those areas,” the Minister explained.
Minister Ferguson highlighted to the Government Information Agency (GINA) that tenders were already out and all the necessary steps were completed. The Ministry is now awaiting approval from the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB).
She noted that the government has a new policy which is once the project or the contract is given to a contractor who is not a resident of the region; he is expected to employ residents within the area to execute the work.
Minister Ferguson urged the residents of Region One to continue to be patient. “I know that Port Kaituma has suffered tremendously in the past. The roads have become impassable. I was there and I experienced what the residents were going through. All I want to say is that you be patient,” Minister Ferguson said.
Funding for these works is catered for in the 2017 budget under hinterland expenditure. A total of $2.302B was allocated for the continuation of road rehabilitation and construction in the hinterland.