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The Iwokrama Centre has welcomed the signing of a contract for the construction of the Linden – Mabura section of the Linden – Lethem roadway.
This much anticipated initiative will improve access to southern Guyana and thus lower the current prohibitive transport and logistics costs, something that has plagued Iwokrama, communities and businesses of the North Rupununi for many years.
In a press release the center said: “This main artery provides a goods to market route for crops in Regions 8 and 9, provides lower-cost access for visitors to tourism destinations in the North Rupununi, allows for increased trade between Brazil and Guyana thus improving livelihoods for many residents of the region and Guyanese in general.”
Dane Gobin, CEO of Iwokrama noted that “the Centre stands ready to support the Government with this initiative as approximately 72 km of this road transects the Iwokrama Forest. Historically, poor road conditions have resulted in harsh and expensive logistics which has affected many facets of the Centre’s operations and businesses. He also noted that the Centre stands ready to intensify its forest monitoring programme to ensure that the integrity of the FSC certified Iwokrama Forest remains intact with the resulting increased traffic.”
Dr Raquel Thomas, Director of Resource Management and Training at Iwokrama notes “Any road also comes with challenges and over the past two decades Iwokrama has effectively collaborated with several state agencies including the Ministry of Public Works, the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Wildlife Conservation and Management Commission and the local North Rupununi communities to manage the section of the road in the protected area. Iwokrama therefore is willing to share experiences that could be of benefit to all that have a stake in this important corridor. We also look forward to seeing the all-weather road extended all the way to Lethem in the near future”.
Bradford Allicock, Toshaos of Fair View Village and Chairman of the North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB) notes “The North Rupununi communities welcome this news and offer their support to this project. Our farmers, small business owners, tourism operators, school children and transport operators, amongst others, will all benefit from the reduced transportation costs and time savings. As Toshaos for Fairview, our community also welcomes this news as with financial support of the Government and help from Iwokrama’s forest management team, our community has embarked on a small community-owned forestry operation. This road improvement will reduce the costs of our inputs and make our operation more profitable. Also, as Iwokrama’s operations and businesses grow, more of my community’s members will get jobs at Iwokrama where they can learn skills which can then be used to enhance their own lives, those of their families and the general community.”
The Guyana Government last month signed a historic contract to commence the construction of the Minister Singh explained that for more than 30 years securing funding for the project was not possible due to the state of the country’s economy. He said it is possible today, because of government’s willingness to ensure the prosperity Guyanese.
“Our vision for Guyana is one where if you are a farmer producing produce in Linden, you must be able to load your produce up and drive it unimpeded to Lethem and beyond to sell it… if you are manufacturing, any item you must be able to sell as easily in Georgetown and Linden as you must be able to sell in Bonfim and Boa Vista,” Minister Singh stated.
road. The signing of the $US190 million contract was done in Linden with Brazilian company, Construtora Queiroz Galvao S.A.
The project which is being touted as transformational has been in the works for decades, said Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh.