After years of severe inconvenience, the residents of Tapakuma on the Essequibo Coast can finally breathe a sigh of relief, now that the construction of an improved access road was recently approved by the Ministry of Finance. According to the Regional Executive Officer (REO), Rupert Hopkinson, the region has decided to allocate $11 million of its savings towards the upgrading of the Tapakuma Hilltop road.
The village of Tapakuma is located more than eight miles behind main land on the Essequibo Coast. Enveloped in dense forest, this small Amerindian Village is home to about 400 residents. For years, however, an important access road leading into the community has been eroded. Located in a valley, the access road is often flooded when it rains. Constant flooding has eventually led to severe erosion, leaving a number of pointed rocks on the road’s surface.
The village Toshao, Aubrey Fredericks told this publication yesterday that the road has been an issue for quite some years. He explained that the former village councillors had made multiple representations in the past.
Kaieteur News understands that due to the severe deterioration, school kids also find it challenging to get to school, since as earlier mentioned, the pointed rocks on top of the hill penetrate the road’s surface, making it difficult for the school bus to access the community. Toshao Fredericks explained, “Our children are living about a mile from here, and so they have to get ready early in the morning – from about 5 o’clock the bus parks at the hill top and the children take about half hour to an hour to get out there. In the afternoon they reach back about 5, so that is difficult for the children.”
The Toshao emphasized the need for quality work to be done, noting that inferior works had often contributed to deterioration in the past. The REO explained during a press conference last Friday, however, that the new hilltop road will be pitched with tar, unlike the many loam roads in the area. Works he said is scheduled to commence shortly, and will be completed by the end of the year.
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