Section of Mabaruma road constantly swamped

– regional chairman says error may have been made during repairs

Sub-standard work has led to sections of the road linking the small community of Barabina to Mabaruma in the North West District being swamped during high tide, residents say.

A section of the Kumaka Water-front on the Aruka River in the North West District which has been eroding over the past several months.

Regional Chairman Fermin Singh told Stabroek News that the regional authorities had undertaken work on a section of the road which had been under water during spring tides. He said that the part of the road in question, approximately 200 metres of which becomes impassable during high tides, has been problematic, and the region may have made a mistake in carrying out work there recently.

While Singh did not disclose how much money was expended on the affected section of road, persons in the community said multi-million dollar contracts had been signed in the past for works to be undertaken there.

Singh said that recently a special grant was provided by the Office of the President for works to be undertaken on the road, but the sum was inadequate. He admitted that the regional administration may have made a mistake while undertaking work on the section of the road in question and he added that a feasibility study should have been carried out prior to repairs being done.

Senior village councillor Nichol Birchman told Stabroek News earlier this week that the community had carried out work in the area but that the sum of money set aside for it was inadequate.

Residents in the area told this newspaper that when the tide rises during the day, the water level at the sides of the road would rise and in the past schoolchildren who walk to and from schools at Barabina and nearby Mabaruma were hampered by the flooded portion. A ledge of rocks had been built along the side of the road to assist pedestrians in crossing. A motorist said the issue had discouraged hire cars from travelling to the area as the  drivers would have to “risk” venturing into Barabina.

Residents at Wauna, another community in the Mabaruma sub-region had voiced complaints

A section of the Wauna-Hosororo Road which has been in a deteriorating state over the past several months

about the state of the road linking that community to nearby Hosororo.

They said the road, which lies along flatlands, is often under water given the geographical layout of the surrounding area.

Because of this minibus operators and hire car drivers often charge high fares to take passengers into the area and residents of Wauna told this newspaper during a recent visit that road repairs were long overdue.

Singh said the Tender Board was “handling a contract for that road,” adding that from reports received, re-tendering may have to be undertaken since the contractors had overbid for the project.

Meanwhile, Singh said the results of a feasibility study are expected to be presented to the regional administration by the Public Works Ministry on the eroding Kumaka Waterfront in the near future. He said that personnel had been sent into the region by the ministry to survey the area and revetment work as well as land filling was on the cards.

Singh said such works may be effected by year-end, adding that revetment work may be undertaken some distance inland, which would effectively cause businesses to relocate from the area.

Business persons at Kumaka told Stabroek News recently that they were awaiting word from

A man walks along a section of the Mabaruma-Barabina Road in the North West District which is usually under water during high tide.

the government on their future at the location, which is the business hub in the sub-region.

They noted that Public Works Minister Robeson Benn had met residents earlier this year and advised them they would have to move, although the authorities indicated that provisions would be made for them such as identifying a place to relocate. To date nothing has been done, they said.

The area has been eroding, with water from the nearby Aruka River said to be flooding the community almost daily.

During a recent visit to the area, Stabroek News observed a number of cracks along the foreshore, while several loads of rocks were laid as a form of sea defence.

A resident pointed out that more than 50 metres of the foreshore had already fallen into the river, and expressed the view that in time the entire community would be submerged if nothing was done.

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