Repairs to Annai-Lethem stretch infernally slow

Dear Editor,

Why the slothfulness in effecting repairs to the Annai–Lethem stretch of the Lethem-Linden road?

It was announced in the media on 01/06/2018 that contracts were inked for repairs to the badly deteriorated Lethem-Linden road. And indeed some sections of this vital road corridor have already been repaired.

A bone of contention at the moment however is the Lethem to Annai stretch of the road. Despite the rainy season having concluded almost a month ago, maintenance work has just been done from Lethem to Pirara Bridge, a distance of approximately 35 kilometers. A further 85 kilometers have to be completed; 85 kilometers of huge potholes, craters and ditches! This unrepaired section is an absolute nightmare for those who have to traverse it, with the infamous Hunt Oil stretch in a most deplorable state. Jagged rocks and deep ditches are the norm and the damage to the undercarriage of vehicles, vehicle tires, shocks, bushings and bearings is extensive. Dodging rocks and holes has become almost like a game of Russian roulette and drivers and passengers alike are treated to a bone jarring snail paced ride in unbearable dusty conditions. Sometimes I wonder if this road is part of the main access road connecting the Municipalities of Linden and Lethem or just some trail in a remote backwater part of Guyana.

It therefore begs the question of why the slothfulness in effecting the necessary repairs when contracts were signed since in June? The rainy season can’t be the reason because the rains ceased more than three weeks ago. Why is it that the contractor responsible for the maintenance of the Kurupukari to Annai section, another part of the road badly damaged during the rainy season has completed almost 90% of the work allotted when the contractor responsible for the Lethem to Annai stretch has only completed 35%?  Doesn’t the Government of Guyana and the contractor realize that the overtaxed Guyanese road users are having to expend their hard-earned money to maintain their vehicles on a badly deteriorated stretch of road that should have been long repaired by now? The Guyanese road users suffered greatly on the Lethem-Linden trail over the course of the rainy season and the suffering continues into the dry season. The good life for every Guyanese as promised by the politicians seems to be nothing but an ever distant, elusive mirage.

In closing, I would like to express my dissatisfaction with the quality of work done on some sections of the Lethem to Pirara stretch of the road. Already potholes have appeared and one has to be careful how they drive lest they end up smack into one. Is anyone from the Ministry of Public Works observing the road works to ensure that the Guyanese citizens are getting quality for their tax dollars?  I sincerely hope that this is not another one of many black holes, into which money and other resources are pumped with little to show in the form of tangible benefits to the ordinary citizen. I have enclosed for perusal a photograph of a section of the road just before Pirara which was supposedly “maintained”. If this is what passes for maintenance, then all I can do is a say a prayer for my country, as we lurch and stumble from one abysmal failure to the next.

Yours faithfully,

J. Andries

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