Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill on Sunday met with residents of Onderneeming along the Essequibo Coast in Region Two where he announced a $100M road project for the community.
Minister Edghill said the monies will be used to upgrade roads in the Onderneeming Sandpit area. On Monday, engineers from the Ministry are expected to visit the area to conduct rehabilitation and maintenance work until the contract is awarded.
While the monies were allocated in the 2021 budget and forms part of the ministry’s work programme, the announcement follows protest action last week where residents blocked the road in disapproval of its deplorable state. During the meeting, Minister Edghill told residents that they had no right to block the road, halting traffic and commercial activity in the area.
Residents during the meeting
He explained that when fixing roads there is a process that needs to be followed; it entails procuring, bidding and evaluating before the contract can be awarded. To this end, he asked residents to understand that it will take some time before the upgrades are done.
From Monday, truckers will be able to access the Sandpit and Loam pits in the area; the Regional Administration was also asked to ensure they conduct maintenance to the road regularly.
The meeting ended with residents agreeing to remove the blockade.
On Thursday last, residents living in the Onderneeming Sandpit areas staged a protest preventing persons from entering the community. Residents used woods and debris blocking the main entrance bridge and preventing essential workers from providing healthcare services to the communities. Nurses and midwives attached to the Onderneeming Health Post were prevented from performing their duties due to the protest.