By Jeff Trotman
Regional Democratic Councillor for Region Ten, Charles Sampson, has called for Linden residents to block the Linden/ Kwakwani Road at the Linden end in protest at the deplorable state of the road.
In making the call on Thursday during his contribution at the June monthly statutory meeting of the council, Sampson said the Kwakwani road issue has been in existence for over ten years and very little has been done to alleviate the situation.
“Linden will have to take action,” Sampson said. “Block the road from Linden.” He added that as bad as it is, the Linden/Kwakwani Road is not worse that the road from Linden to Mabura. He further opined that the government should change its policy on roads since it would appear as though the government has no intention of improving hinterland roads while it ensures that there are good roads on the East Bank and East Coast of Demerara.
The deplorable state of the Linden/Kwakwani Road was raised by Regional Chairman, Sharma Solomon, who informed the council that Region Ten officials had to endure four hours of hazardous journey on the road as they travelled on Sunday 25th May to participate in the Independence Flag Raising ceremony at Kwakwani.
Solomon had the standing orders of the meeting suspended to discuss the road issue/ He pointed out that the twenty-two Ituni and Kwakwani residents, including a fifteen-year-old boy, who had been charged for their blocking of the road at Ituni in September 2012, made another appearance at the Christianburg Magistrate’s Courts on Tuesday and will have to return to court on 28th June.
During his presentation Solomon showed photographs on a large screen of himself pointing to several bad patches of the road. He said Minister in the Ministry of Finance Juan Edghill travelled by plane to participate in the exercise and he expressed disgust that Edghill, who was lucky not to be injured in a vehicular accident on that road earlier this year, did not have the presence of mind to empathize with the Kwakwani residents and console them by stating that the road issue was being given some thought by the government.
Highlighting that Edghill’s independence address attempted to persuade the people of the sub Region to support the government, Solomon said “the people are dependent on the road for every facet of their life”. Pointing out that a number of large companies use the road in their logging and mining businesses, Solomon said that he counted thirty-two Bai Shan Lin forty-foot container trucks parked at the Kwakwani crossing on the Berbice River.
Claiming that the drivers were all of Chinese nationality, Solomon said expatriate companies make millions of dollars while “mashing up the road” and the people have to suffer. He said that Minister Edghill, called on Kwakwani residents to support government’s intention to establish a specialty hospital without caring that Ituni residents do not have an ambulance.
The Regional Chairman said that the Region Ten officials held a community meeting on Sunday before they attended the independence flagraising ceremony and it was proposed at the meeting that within the next two weeks, the Region’s officials should meet with representatives of the various companies that use the road to find a collective way of fixing the road.
He also said that effort will be made to engage embassy officials of the several expatriate companies that operate in the Kwakwani area to support the road rehabilitation exercise.