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The island of Wakenaam in the Essequibo River is set to benefit from $792 million for the construction of several rigid concrete roads. 41 contractors were awarded the contract.
Government said the roads were identified in 2022 during a collaborative effort by the Public Works, Housing and Water, and Local Government and Regional Development ministries, to assess which community roads required immediate intervention.
The identified roads included perimeter roads, as well as community roads.
The construction is expected to see Wakenaam contractors sourcing labour from within the island which could expand economic opportunities for residents of the island.
Minister within the Public Works Ministry, Deodat Indar, during an engagement with Wakenaam leaders and contractors on Friday, highlighted the need for immediate mobilisation, as the state of some roads has rendered them difficult or impossible to use.
During the discussion, Minister Indar also encouraged the contractors to determine how they will source raw materials to build the roads, citing nationwide shortages of supplies, and attributing it to the massive number of construction projects being undertaken across the country.
Given the rapidly deteriorating state of the island’s lone road the minister requested immediate remedial works begin to improve the deplorable section of the road to reduce the hassle for residents.
Contractors were encouraged to submit samples of the reef sand from the island for testing to determine its suitability to be used on road projects.