Poor condition of Mabaruma sub-region roads affecting residents’ livelihoods

Dear Editor,

The Mabaruma residents of Region 1(Barima-Waini) are crying out over the extremely bad condition of their roads that urgently need rehabilitation by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure. The residents are claiming that what is even worse is that they have no one in authority to complain to, or to represent them on the critical issues that are affecting their communities.

The Mabaruma-Kumaka roadway to Wauna and beyond is in a disgraceful state of neglect with lots of small and large potholes, and when the rain falls pools of water take over the entire road making it impassable. This includes the road to the Barabina community which has a never-ending problem of flooding. The extremely bad state of the Mabaruma roads has caused transportation costs to rise steeply, and what is worse is that taxi and minibus drivers now think it very hard to transport residents to Wauna and beyond because the road is destroying their vehicles. But if taxi drivers do decide to take passengers from Kumaka to Wauna the cost is now $5000, and from Kumaka to White Creek, not far from Wauna, the cost is now $8000. The minibus cost per seat is now $400 plus an extra $100 for a small bag as freight from Kumaka to Wauna.

The trucks and tractors are further destroying the roads, but these may soon be the only vehicles capable of travelling to Wauna and beyond. The terrible conditions of the road from Wauna to Kumaka (the business centre) and Mabaruma Township are affecting the Wauna residents who have to travel to seek medical attention, whose children have to attend school, and who need to buy foodstuffs or conduct business and meet with RDC officials.

With the rise in fuel prices, transportation costs will increase further, as will the cost for every conceivable item, thereby causing a rise in the cost of living in the Mabaruma sub-region. The Mabaruma residents are therefore calling on the Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson to urgently visit the sub-region to inspect the roads and have them fixed within the shortest possible time.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Persaud

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