As work is being undertaken to fix sections of the Mabura road which washed away amid heavy downpours over the weekend, the authorities in Region 9 are putting measures in place to conserve on fuel in the area.
Stabroek News understands that limited quantities of fuel are available to the region from gas stations there with one station restricting the amount of fuel one customer could purchase daily to 10 litres.
At the same time the regional authorities are monitoring the situation with keen attention being paid to the availability of fuel for electricity supply.
Region 9 Chairman Clarindo Lucas told Stabroek News yesterday that the administration has pledged to support the Lethem Power company in the event the agency runs low on fuel. He said that that while the availability of the commodity is an area of concern in light of the incident, the Local Government Ministry has advised the regional administration to assist the power company in the event its supply of fuel runs out.
Lucas stated that the RDC has in place a secondary plan to address the issue if the situation is not remedied by tomorrow, as forecast by the Works Ministry.
Persons in the border community told this newspaper yesterday that Lethem has been experiencing periods of power outages since the section of the Mabura road washed away on Sunday with power being off for eight-hour periods. One resident noted that the power company had planned to operate a small generator to supply electricity to the area, but according to him the machine has proved to be ‘problematic’ from previous experiences.
Lucas told this newspaper that the area was experiencing a 24-hr electricity supply yesterday. He said that the power company utilizes two generators to supply electricity to the region, and at the moment the larger of the two generators is supplying power to the area. Lucas stated that the power company would implement a load shedding schedule to conserve on fuel if the need arises.
He said that the region is in no way short of supplies of other commodities including food, and this newspaper understands that the Rupununi Chamber of Commerce along with its sister group in Bon Fim are on standby to assist the area if the need arises. The two bodies have been in discussions to partner in several areas aimed at development of the Lethem area, this newspaper understands.
Passengers have been travelling out of the region to the capital, utilizing a shuttle service which is in place at the affected locations amid the impeding situation.
According to the Government Information Agency (GINA), Works Minister Robeson Benn stated that eight HDPE, 40 foot pipes have been dispatched to the affected areas at 40 and 42 mile along the trail and the ministry is working round the clock to have the affected area repaired by today so that traffic along could flow normally through the area by tomorrow. The Ministry’s efforts are being complemented by the Mekdeci Mining Company (MMC).
The area along the road was damaged after heavy rains over the weekend causing the nearby creeks to swell.