Govt to explore long-term solution

first_imgLethem-Aishalton road breachWhile steps have already been taken to fix the main access road to Aishalton from Lethem, which was washed away earlier this week, Government is looking for a longer-term solution.This is according to Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman, whose Ministry is working along with the Public Infrastructure Ministry to address the breach in the road, which he says was not only as a result of rainfall, but is partly due to overloaded vehicles crossing there.“Minister (David) Patterson and I, and our respective ministries, collaborate to ensure that roads in that area are maintained. Because the road goes into a mining area – Marudi – it is a matter of concern to us. We leave the engineering to the engineers, and that would be Ministry of Public Infrastructure, but we would provide (logistical) support: trucks, maybe some personnel or otherwise.“But I’d like to say that, by this weekend, certainly the road would be back up for temporary passage, and certainly within another week or so we’ll have the pass fully restored,” Trotman said while updating the media on the matter.On this note, the Minister indicated to this newspaper that while engineers have already been deployed to the area to assess and evaluate the damages, they are looking at the options for a long-term solution.“(Minister Patterson) and I exchanged some information about some possible new culverts. We’ve seen some technology out of Brazil, and we’re exploring the possibility of bring some of that to do a fix, because we don’t want to fix something for a week or a month. We’re looking at a longer-term fix on this project… There are engineering companies in Guyana that have (partnered) with Brazilian companies, and we’re exploring some of (those options with them),” Trotman stated.Earlier this week, the main access road connecting two major indigenous communities – Lethem and Aishalton – was completely cut off by flash flooding that occurred over the weekend.On Monday, Aishalton Toshao Michael Thomas informed this newspaper that a particular location, some 12 miles from his village, is in deplorable state and in dire need of emergency repairs.The damages, he added, have resulted in all vehicles travelling from Lethem to Aishalton, as well as seven other surrounding villages, being cut off. The alternative route requires an additional 60 miles of driving.As a result of this destruction, fuel supply to the communities has decreased, the Toshao said.The situation is expected to worsen, as June month is the peak of the rainy season, which lasts until August in those areas.The location began eroding two years ago due to the rainy season, but this time around, the damage is greater. According to the Toshao, the hole in the road is two metres deep, and the culverts have broken in half.Toshao Thomas explained that in 2017 the village had received assistance from the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) to fix the road, and last year help was provided by the Brazilian Army, which was in Guyana to drill wells in the Rupununi.This time around, the Toshao believes, assistance from Central Government may be required.last_img