Port Kaituma residents lament shoddy road works

The current practice of grading the internal roads of Port Kaituma with just red loam poses a threat to the safety of residents who traverse the roadways which usually deteriorate with heavy rainfall.

Frustrated residents are calling on regional authorities to make good on their promise to properly repair the roadways.

A taxi driver who spoke to Stabroek News on the condition of anonymity, singled out a road called “Catwalk” and labelled it as “dangerous to people.” He said when it rains the red loam which the road is repaired with softens and causes drivers to end up in the trench.

The Catwalk Road  being graded by Jailing workers on Tuesday, at Port Kaituma. (Photo courtesy of Richard Allen)
The Catwalk Road being graded by Jailing workers on Tuesday, at Port Kaituma. (Photo courtesy of Richard Allen)

He said that on one occasion he was transporting a pregnant woman and almost fell off the road, which was sludgy following rainfall. That driver added that the Jailing Company undertook the task of grading Catwalk Road with the usual red loam on Tuesday. However, he opined that the repair will only last as long as there is no heavy rainfall. He also called for stone to be used to fill what he describes as gaping potholes.

Clarence Kingston, a resident of the community also expressed his frustration at the state of the Catwalk Road. Kingston said that a friend of his who is a taxi driver, fell into the trench along Catwalk, while transporting a customer.

Not only did that driver endanger his life and the customer’s, but his car was also damaged. Kingston added “is bare mud they throwing on the road.” “We got to use the Catwalk to go to work and school in that state”, Kingston said. He further mentioned that whenever it rains, it is almost impossible for pedestrians and drivers to use the road which would be slushy. “It is stressful”, he opined.

Another resident who also spoke to Stabroek News on the condition of anonymity, said that the road leading to the airstrip in Port Kaituma is also in a deplorable state. The disgusted resident said ”We got a lot of stuff,“ but noted that “the IMC (regional authorities) and the government are not doing anything for us here.”

Also commenting on the issue was former Member of Parliament, Richard Allen who said that unless stone is used to repair the road, it will continue to fall apart. He said that residents are fed up of the issues with the roads in the region which have been ongoing.

He further mentioned that on Sunday he spoke with Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, who promised to speak with Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Norman Whittaker, as well as Minister of Transport Minister Robeson Benn for a resolution.

According to Allen, the Interim Management Committee is responsible for maintaining the internal roads in the region. Moreover, Alleyne said that to date over $50 million has been spent on repairs and yet no improvement has been seen in the state of the roads.

However, he explained that although Jailing signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the regional authorities to maintain the internal road, more can be done to ensure safety when using the road.

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