Aug 12, 2017 News
Weeks of heavy rain and an almost impassible trail have contributed to the Region Nine border town of Lethem being without fuel. As of yesterday midday, only diesel and kerosene were available in the area.
As early as 9am, drivers were told that they would be limited to $3,000.
But by midday, there was no gas at Takutu Gas Station, Lammy’s and Macedo’s.
The situation was brought on by the poor condition of the Linden/Lethem road which leads from the coast.
Other than the trail, residents along the way to Lethem have little options to move goods, except by air, a far more expensive way.
Opposition Member of Parliament, Alister Charlie, confirmed that gas had run out. He said that the only option remaining at the moment to rush fuel to the area is buying from Brazil, but it is more expensive to do so.
Photographs showed little activity at the three gas stations in that hinterland town, except for a morning rush. There were also images indicating that stretches of the Hunt Oil Road, leading to Lethem, was covered with water, with vehicles stuck.
Operator of the Macedo’s gas station, Thakurdeen ‘Tall Boy’ Rambarran, disclosed that the situation is a tough one, with his supplies stuck for three days at Annai, a community about 70 miles away.
“The Hunt Oil stretch is not the only part of the road that is bad. This situation has been going on for weeks now. It is only because of the fuel shortage that people are calling.”
As of now, light vehicles including minibuses are the only ones going through.
Rambarran said that he was forced to park a few of his trucks after it became clear that nothing could be done.
“Yes, there is no gas, only diesel and kerosene. Many persons are losing their investments as the vehicles cannot move, and the money you would be making, has to be spent on repairs and other expenses.”
The businessman noted that over time, there have been criticisms on the operations of trucks on the trail.
“The fact is that trucks have helped Lethem, in that fuel has been around $225-$235 per gallon, not much more than the city. We have brought costs down for our people here. This situation was known for weeks now. At Mabura now, gas price is around $240. People don’t understand it. No bridges were recently built that trucks break up. The fact is that the machines used to build these bridges are sometimes heavier than the trucks.”
Contacted yesterday, Region Nine Chairman, Bryan Allicock, who said he was in the city, disclosed that it is unlikely gas supplies could reach Lethem, the region’s capital, before tomorrow.
“There was some work done before. We spoke to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure weeks ago of the road situation. Nothing much was done. Contractors arrived yesterday (Thursday).” The official said that work will now be done at especially at Hunt Oil stretch, where about half of a mile in road has to be compacted.
The Chairman acknowledged that the gas situation is as being reported.
Lethem links Guyana to Brazil via the Takutu Bridge. Brazilians have been coming to Guyana to buy the cheaper fuel.
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