8.I BASIC FEATURES OF THE SECTOR
8.I.1.1 The Network
8.I.1.1.1 The main coastal roads are, from west to east, the
Essequibo Coast Road, the Parika-Vreed-en-Hoop Road, the East Coast Demerara and
West Coast Berbice Roads, and the Corentyne Highway from New Amsterdam to
Moleson Creek. All these roads are paved.
8.I.1.1.2 South of Georgetown the primary road is the East Bank
Demerara Road, a two-lane road which runs from Georgetown to Timehri, where the
Cheddi Jagan International Airport - Timehri (CJIAT) is located. In the period
1966 - 68, Soesdyke, located on the East Bank Demerara Road, was connected to
Mackenzie by a modern two lane highway, now called the Soesdyke - Linden
Highway. This road was constructed as a section of a highway connecting
Georgetown with Lethem. In 1968 a bridge was built across the Demerara River at
Linden, and in 1974 it was decided that the route to Lethem would cross the
Demerara River at Linden and go south, along the watershed of the Demerara and
Essequibo Rivers, through Mabura, to Kurupukari. From Kurupukari it would run
parallel to the old cattle trail to Annai, and from Annai it would follow an
already existing road to Lethem.
8.I.1.1.3 In the early 1970s a two-lane road with modern
geometry and surfaced with laterite was built between Linden and Rockstone. This
road was later connected to Mabura and Kurupukari. In 1990-91 a two-lane
laterite road was constructed between Kurupukari and Annai and a vehicle ferry
installed at Kurupukari. Since there was already an existing road between Mabura
and Kurupukari, and between Annai and Lethem, it was now possible for vehicles
to travel between Georgetown and Lethem.
8.I.1.1.4 In the period 1974-78, an attempt was made to build a
road between Rockstone and Kurupung to facilitate the construction of a large
hydroelectric station. From Rockstone it headed north to Suribanna, where a
pontoon ferry was installed across the Essequibo River to Sherima. From Sherima
the road went westward, intersecting the Bartica - Mahdia Road at Allsopp Point
19 miles from Bartica. From Allsopp Point the road followed the existing road
towards Bartica and branched off 5 miles from Bartica going to Teperu in the
lower reaches on the Mazaruni River. At Teperu a pontoon ferry was installed
across the Mazaruni River to Itaballi. From Itaballi the road went westward to
Peter’s Mine on the Puruni River. From Peter’s Mine the road continued as a
penetration road to Kurupung. This road is referred to as the UMDA Road.
8.I.1.1.5 There is in addition a hinterland east - west main
road system which extends from Kwakwani in the east, through Ituni, Linden,
Rockstone, Sherima to Bartica in the west. Linden is therefore one of the main
hubs for road transportation in the hinterland.
8.I.1.1.6 The existing road network is approximately 1,610
miles long, 19 percent of which comprises primary roads in the coastal and
riverain areas serving the agricultural sector, while the road to Linden serves
the mining and forestry sectors. Twenty-one percent is made up of feeder roads
which link the agricultural areas along the coast to the primary road network.
The remaining 60 percent is composed of interior roads and trails. Most access
roads are in poor condition. However, the Central Government has targeted
several of them for complete rehabilitation, and already many have been
8.I.1.1.7 Outside the existing main roads there are several
other interior roads and/or trails which comprise approximately 1,570 km. Most
of those roads are unpaved, and will deteriorate if maintenance remains
inadequate. They are found mostly in the hinterland and riverain areas and
provide linkages with a number of important mining and forestry activities thus
facilitating transportation between the mining and forestry communities and the
more developed coastal areas. Parts of this road/trail network can be developed
into an arterial road system linking the hinterland communities with each other
and to the main road network. It is estimated that roads carry 80 percent of
Guyana's passenger traffic and about 33 percent of its freight.
8.I.1.2.1 To maximise the benefits to be obtained from
investment in roads it is necessary to maintain the roads. Failure to do so
results in higher vehicle operating costs, increased time in moving from one
point to another, serious physical discomfort, and reduced safety in travelling.
Timely and continuous maintenance prolongs the intervals between
8.I.1.2.2 In Guyana, the maintenance of the main road system
has been woefully inadequate. In 1980 the Ministry of Works was regionalised and
the maintenance of all public roads outside of Georgetown became the
responsibility of the Regional Democratic Councils. This resulted in poor
standards of public road maintenance throughout the country. In the late 1980s
the responsibility for the maintenance of the Soesdyke-Linden Highway was
returned to the Roads Administration Division (RAD). However, because of
inadequate financing, the maintenance of the country’s public roads continues to
be extremely unsatisfactory.
8.I.1.3 Major Bridges
8.I.1.3.1 The coastal main road system is not continuous. There
are gaps whenever it intersects the Essequibo, Demerara and Berbice Rivers.
People and goods move across these gaps by ferry systems and, in the case of the
Demerara River, by way of the Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB).
8.I.1.3.2 The Demerara Harbour Bridge is a two-lane floating
bridge, 1.2 miles long, near the mouth of the Demerara River. It is primarily a
low-level bridge which possesses an elevated span with a vertical clearance of
26 feet in the middle of the river to permit small craft to pass. In addition,
across the shipping channel, there are two spans which retract to permit the
passage of ocean going vessels. The DHB is a toll bridge. From mid 1998 toll
revenue has been credited to the account of the DHB and not to the Government of
Guyana, as it was until then. This is a step towards the establishment of the
DHB as an autonomous statutory authority. At present the toll revenue meets the
operational and maintenance costs of the bridge.
8.I.1.4.1 Commercial railway services for both passengers and
cargo were operated until 1974 in Guyana. The two areas of operation were
Vreed-en-Hoop/Parika (18.5 miles) and Georgetown/Rosignol (65 miles). With the
upgrading of the West Coast Demerara/East Bank Essequibo and the East Coast
Demerara/West Coast Berbice roadways, the Government decided in mid 1970s to
cease operating these railway services, which were being run at a loss.
8.I.1.4.2 A railway service is still, however, operated in
Linden, mainly to move bauxite ore. In addition, in the Matthews Ridge area,
there is a 32-mile railway service.
8.I.2.1 Air transport plays a vital role in the development of
Guyana. Within the country, it provides a link between the coastal areas and
communities in the hinterland, many of which are inaccessible by any other means
of transportation. Thus, the economic and social well being of these areas and
their integration into the fabric of the nation are critically dependent on the
availability of air transport. Externally, passengers are moved to and from the
country almost entirely by air. In addition, the potential of this mode of
transport for the carriage of cargo, especially exports, continues to
8.I.2.2 Although air transport in Guyana had its early
beginnings in the 1920s when the first "bush" services were introduced,
Government’s earnest participation can be dated from 1947 when a Director of
Civil Aviation was appointed to regulate the industry. In 1955, the Government
purchased the British Guiana Airways, a private airline that had been operating
regular internal services since 1939. However, external services continued to be
supplied almost exclusively by foreign airlines until the Guyana Airways
Corporation commenced regional air services in 1979. Subsequently, restrictions
on the repatriation of profits in foreign exchange and other circumstances
contributed to the withdrawal of services to Guyana by foreign airlines, with
the exception of BWIA. Guyana Airways Corporation was therefore obliged to fill
the breach by commencing jet operations to Miami, New York and Toronto. In the
1980s Guyana Airways Corporation’s domestic operations started to deteriorate
for a number of reasons, not least among them the unrealistically low fares it
was required to charge and the lack of access to foreign exchange for imported
aircraft parts and other requirements. The private sector therefore began to
fill the gap and by 1991 three major domestic charter operators had emerged.
8.I.2.3 In the meantime, Guyana Airways Corporation’s domestic
service continued to deteriorate and, by 1993, possessed only one Twin Otter
DHC-6 to service the entire country. Under new management it was revitalised and
saw a partial return to its original domestic role with the reintroduction of
several domestic scheduled routes, because of the addition of two Shorts Skyvan
SC7 aircraft, and a second Twin Otter DHC-6 aircraft.
8.I.2.4 At present, nearly 200 airfields, of which more than
100 are in use, are located across the country. The average interior airfield is
unpaved and approximately 2500 feet long. This limits the class of aircraft that
can use them. Moreover, their general state is borderline, even for STOL
operations. Indeed, many of them become unserviceable during the rainy seasons.
8.I.2.5 Ogle, one of the main secondary aerodromes, is located
about 6 miles east of Georgetown. It is the base from which small private
aircraft operate regular and chartered flights from the coastland to the
hinterland and overseas.
8.I.2.6 Guyana has one international airport, the Cheddi Jagan
International Airport - Timehri (CJIAT) that is located at Timehri, about 25
miles south of Georgetown. This airport has been much improved since 1996: the
size of the terminal has been more than doubled and has been made more
user-friendly; and a modern departure wing, with adequate check-in counters and
facilities for airlines and comfortable areas for departing passengers has been
added. Immigration and Departure Gate facilities have also improved. Moreover,
the level of safety has risen, new runway lights have been installed and
stand-by power is adequate. In addition, the Control Tower has undergone
extensive rehabilitation and is now in a fair condition.
8.I.2.7 There is no approved Air Transport Policy for Guyana.
Although a Civil Aviation Act was passed on 15 December 1996, the Air Navigation
Regulations which were necessary to implement the Act have not yet been
formulated. As a consequence, the U.K. Colonial Air Navigation Order of 1961
still administers Guyana’s air transport sector.
8.I.3.1 It is generally agreed that, for the movement of bulky
low-value goods over great distances, water transport is cheapest. This is
especially true where, as in Guyana at the moment, road infrastructural
development is not well advanced. Moreover, with the widespread decentralisation
of economic activity that is being proposed in this Strategy, and with the
corresponding development of the interior regions of the country, the demand for
water transport, even if the proposed road building projects are speedily
implemented might, perhaps paradoxically, increase rather than diminish.
220.127.116.11 At present, virtually all our exports and imports are
transported by sea.
8.I.3.3 The infrastructure that supports water transport in
Guyana is located along the banks of the navigable rivers, namely, the
Essequibo, Demerara and Berbice. In addition to the wharves and stellings that
provide coastal and inland linkages, there are facilities that handle both the
country’s overseas and local shipping requirements.
8.I.3.4 The main port of Georgetown, located at the mouth of
the Demerara river, comprises several wharves, most of which are privately
owned. In addition, three berths are available for oceangoing vessels at
8.I.3.5 Draught constraints limit the size of vessels using
Georgetown’s Harbour to 15,000 dwt. However, recent improvements in the channel
in the Berbice river have made it possible for ships of up to 55,000 dwt. to
8.I.3.6 Guyana’s foreign trade is handled by foreign shipping
8.I.3.7 The largest bulk exports are bauxite and sugar, and the
largest volume imports are petroleum and wheat flour.
8.I.3.8 Important breakbulk exports include rice and timber.
8.I.3.9 Containers are used but because they are not part of
the internal transport system, they are loaded and unloaded at the ports.
8.I.3.10 Internal barge transport is important for bauxite,
sugar, rice and aggregates. In the case of sugar, for example, 98 percent of
exports is delivered by barge to the port of Georgetown for export. Rivers are
used for moving logs and account also for a significant share of those persons
who travel to the interior.
8.I.3.11 It is estimated that about 1,000 km of waterways in
Guyana are utilised for commerce in Guyana. In addition, drainage canals are
important transport channels for collecting sugar on the estates and for
8.I.3.12 Ferry services link the primary roads in the coastal
area, and Guyana with Suriname. The Government’s Transport and Harbour
Department provides scheduled ferry services in the Essequibo, Demerara and
Berbice rivers. Small privately-owned river-craft supplement these services.
8.I.3.13 Only two ferry services consistently show profits: the
Rosignol-New Amsterdam and the Parika-Adventure. For the remainder, in
particular for the Berbice River and the North West services, the Government
provides a cross-subsidy funded out of the profits that are always realised by
the Harbour Branch of the Transport and Harbours Department. Nevertheless, ferry
operations have the potential to be profitable, provided that capital
investments are made to improve their physical assets. With the establishment of
a Maritime Administration and subsequently a National Sea Ports Authority the
ferry operations must either be privatised or operated as a commercially viable
autonomous agency. While some increases in rates may accompany privatisation, it
is anticipated that the quality and capacity of the service would be improved.
8.I.3.14 Ultimately, key ferry links will be replaced with
bridges, starting with one from Rosignol to New Amsterdam across the Berbice
8.I.3.15 The fleet of ferry vessels owned by the
Transport and Harbours Department, at the end of 1999, comprised nine motor
vessels, six of which ranged in age from 15 to 55 years. Indeed, two of the
vessels were over fifty years of age, and three over 30 years, with an average
age of thirty-five. Perhaps not surprisingly, they are in almost continuous need
8.II ISSUES AND CONSTRAINTS
8.II.1.1.1 The portion of the East Bank road between the
Demerara Harbour Bridge and Georgetown is extremely congested. Indeed, most of
the East Bank road is likely to become even more clogged because of increasing
economic and housing activity in the catchment area which it serves. It is
therefore necessary both to widen the road in this area, and to construct an
additional route for commuters and other citizens.
8.II.1.1.2 The area between Mahaica, Parika and Timehri is
developing as a conurbation centred on Georgetown, with significant flows of
commuter traffic. There is need to supply enough road space to accommodate this
traffic so that commuter time may be reduced.
8.II.1.1.3 There is a conflict between vehicles and vessels for
the use the space where the DHB intersects the shipping channel at high tide,
which is when ocean going vessels move along the Demerara River.
8.II.1.1.4 The time taken while waiting to cross the Berbice
River is inordinately long. This often leads to much anger and annoyance on the
part of passengers, and to a curtailment of economic activity.
8.II.1.1.5 The road between Linden and Mabura is a health
hazard. In addition, road users suffer much discomfort.
8.II.1.1.6 The hinterland east-west main road between Bartica,
Linden and Kwakwani is not adequately maintained. Travel on it is rough,
uncomfortable and sometimes impossible.
8.II.1.1.7 The geometry of the road between Mabura and
Kurupukari, and the design of the bridges, do not meet modern highway standards
and are considered dangerous.
8.II.1.1.8 The pontoon ferry at Kurupukari has limited
capacity. As a result, waiting time is long if the number of vehicles arriving
for a particular crossing exceeds the ferry capacity.
8.II.1.1.9 The road between Annai and Good Hope is rough and
stretches are subject to seasonal flooding and erosion.
8.II.1.1.10 Vehicles using the roads in the South Rupununi
Savannas cross the creeks by fording. However, rainstorms often cause the water
in the creeks to rise significantly and impede fording.
8.II.1.1.11 There is an insufficiency of all weather access
roads connecting mining, forest and agriculture areas, in the hinterland, to the
Georgetown - Lethem Road.
8.II.1.1.12 There are not enough disciplined forces to patrol
the borders of Guyana and reliance has to be placed on the placement and
development of the civilian population near the borders. Access to such areas by
all weather roads is therefore vital. As important, is the fact that access
roads in these regions would enable surplus agricultural products to be sold to
markets in urban centres.
8.II.1.1.13 There is an alarming overloading of axles on the
main road network.
8.II.1.1.14 Vehicles with containers 40 ft. long exceed the
legal limits of vehicle size. A significant number of 45 ft. long containers are
also in use.
8.II.1.1.15 Gross weights of a significant number of large
vehicles exceed the design live loads of bridges. To place weight restrictions
on vehicles crossing major bridges would increase the cost of transportation of
goods and would require significant police resources to enforce. The bridges
themselves ought, therefore, to be re-designed and strengthened.
8.II.1.1.16 The number of accidents, fatal and non-fatal, on
all the roads in Guyana is unacceptably high.
8.II.1.1.17 There is inadequate maintenance of the road
8.II.1.1.18 There is encroachment on road reserves; moreover,
reserves are not legally defined for roads in hinterland areas.
8.II.1.1.19 There is no official national highway system and no
official highway policy.
8.II.1.1.20 There is need to establish such a system in Guyana,
and connect it to the national highway systems of Brazil and Venezuela.
8.II.1.1.21 In case of a disaster caused by the flooding of
Georgetown, there is inadequate road capacity between Georgetown and Timehri to
enable the rapid transport of persons from Georgetown and its environs to higher
8.II.1.1.22 Guyanese road builders, in general, have not yet
developed modern road construction techniques.
8.II.1.2.1 Limited institutional capacity. The existing public
service entity does not have the capacity effectively to perform all the tasks
required for establishing and maintaining road transport in Guyana.
8.II.1.2.2 Inadequate financial resources from general tax
8.II.1.2.3 Lack of a sufficient number of experienced road
contractors in Guyana to provide road construction and maintenance
services on a significant scale on a competitive basis under contract with road
8.II.1.2.4 Lack of sufficient cost recovery mechanisms in the
sector to finance road construction and maintenance activities.
8.II.1.2.5 Lack of contact between the highway authorities of
Guyana, Suriname, Brazil and Venezuela to promote development of the highway
system across these countries.
8.II.2.1 Civil Aviation in Guyana is still being administered
under the United Kingdom Air Navigation Order of 1961. This Order does not take
into account the evolving changes in the aviation environment both
internationally and locally.
8.II.2.2 The public service bureaucracy impedes the operations
of Civil Aviation as it relates to the decision-making and implementation
process for Air Transport Operations and Licensing.
8.II.2.3 The government’s anachronistic financial and
procurement systems restrict the efficient functioning of airports that are
required to provide services, facilities, and air navigation systems on a
8.II.2.4 International air connections remain limited, in
respect of types of aircraft and the frequency of flights. Moreover, passengers
on too many international flights are forced to change services in neighbouring
countries before reaching their final destination in Guyana.
8.II.2.5 Regulations for international travel are inappropriate
from the viewpoint of enhancing fair competition among airlines and promoting
the protection of passengers.
8.II.2.6 There are areas of conflict between national
legislation and internationally accepted rules, regulations, and procedures
applicable to international civil aviation.
8.II.2.7 Major international conventions on civil aviation have
not been ratified.
8.II.2.8 There is no coordinated airports and air navigation
plan to provide for the rehabilitation of interior airfields, to foster the
development of national air navigation systems in a cohesive way, and to improve
generally the airport and navigation facilities throughout the country.
8.II.2.9 There is a shortage of opportunities and facilities
for the development of personnel employed within the sector.
8.II.2.10 There is no effective and fully equipped Search and
Rescue Unit within the air transport sector to provide emergency services.
8.II.2.11 The dependence of the Civil Aviation Department on
budgetary allocations by the government is not conducive to the development of
the sector and to its adjustment to rapid changes in civil aviation.
8.II.2.12 There is an insufficiency of navigational aids and
facilities for airport services within the country.
8.II.2.13 No Air Services Agreements exist between Guyana and
most countries in the world. There is need, also, to regularise such Agreements
even where they are already in existence, because there are often many
disparities among them and they are quite frequently out-of-date.
8.II.2.14 The limited capacity and substandard quality of
airfields both in the interior and on the coast restrict the type of aircraft
operations and contribute to their relative costliness.
8.II.2.15 The operation of commercial air services by the
Guyana Defence Force (GDF) provides unfair competition with all other operators.
8.II.2.16 The limitation as to the approval of helicopter
operations by privately owned companies, unnecessarily restricts ingress to and
egress from the hinterland, and reduces the efficiency of search and rescue
8.II.2.17 The limited runway length at Cheddi Jagan
International Airport - Timehri severely reduces the opportunities of utilising
it for international flights.
8.II.2.18 The substandard physical facilities at Ogle
Aerodrome, including taxiways, runways, and approach and take-off clearways
inhibit its use for both internal and external flights.
8.II.3.1 There has been a shift in emphasis from the Demerara
transshipment station to the Berbice River Deep Water facility which was created
by the Aroaima Bauxite Company to facilitate the entry and exit of Panamax size
ships, thereby allowing for the transshipment of great quantities of bauxite, a
situation that was previously impossible. The success of the operations in this
facility illustrates the necessity for the creation of full-service deep water
harbours to cater for both imported and exported cargo.
8.II.3.2 The selling prices of quarry products and lumber for
use in the urban centres, for road construction and in industry, are greatly
increased by the high cost of transportation in Guyana. Indeed, it is because of
this factor that it is sometimes argued that it might be cheaper to import some
of these products, as against relying on indigenous sources of supply.
8.II.3.3 In an environment in which speed is often of the
essence, a reduction in the distance of transportation in terms of nautical
miles by the establishment of berthing facilities at Supenaam and Morshee might
be eminently feasible. For example, the construction of a wharf at Supenaam
would allow for a faster turn around of the Transport and Harbours Department
vessel, thereby increasing the number of daily trips, and providing a distinct
advantage to commuters.
8.II.3.4 The demand for a reliable and efficient water
transport service to the outlying areas of Guyana continues to put a strain on
the ageing fleet of vessels operated by the Transport and Harbours Department.
8.II.3.5 The absence of a functioning coast station impedes the
process of effective maritime communication; stultifies search and rescue
operations; constrains the surveillance capacity of the Coast Guard; and
encourages piracy, the vandalism of navigation aids, drug operations, and fish
poaching in our territorial waters, and the evasion of customs duties.
8.II.3.6 The nonexistence of a buoy tender makes it very
difficult to position and repair aids to navigation.
8.II.3.7 The Georgetown Harbour has a plethora of wrecks which
pose a hazard to effective navigation. Unless this situation is addressed as a
matter of urgency, the harbour could eventually be declared unsafe for
navigation by international marine regulatory agencies. This would obviously
have an adverse effect both on our exports and imports, on the performance of
the economy, and on our quality of life.
8.II.3.8 The inadequacy of financial resources to acquire the
requisite equipment to boost or maintain an efficient and reliable maritime
transport service is an obvious constraint to the development of the sector, and
to the growth of the overall economy.
8.II.3.9 The failure to grant autonomy to the Transport and
Harbours Department prohibits the organisation from establishing realistic fares
and tariffs for the facilitation of commercially viable port and ferry services,
and limits the development of the sector. In addition, weak institutional
arrangements within the Department, and the poor remuneration of employees,
result in a lack of commitment and a high attrition rate.
8.II.3.10 Because of the relatively old age of the vessels
maintenance costs are high, and the reliability of the services that are
rendered most problematical.
8.II.3.11 The ferries, because of their own inherent
inefficiencies, and because also of the low prices charged for the transport of
goods, vehicles and personnel are, as we have seen, for the most part uneconomic
to run and are a drain on the exchequer.
8.III SECTORAL OBJECTIVES
8.III.1.1 The overall objective of the sector is to construct a
national road transport network which would provide the basis for the economic
development of the entire country, and assist in the attainment of its social
In particular, it would:-
(i) provide adequate access to all the regions in Guyana to
enhance their social and economic development;
(ii) assist in the occupation of as much of the country as
possible for security reasons; and
(iii) establish road linkages with Brazil and Venezuela, and
through these countries with the rest of South and Central America, and North
America in order to facilitate trade.
8.III.2.1 The general objectives of the air transport sector
are (i) to improve the standard of living and the quality of life of Guyanese by
providing air access to different parts of the world and to different areas in
Guyana (ii) to enhance penetration into the country’s interior; (iii) to provide
facilities to enable easy ingress to, and egress from, the interior in times of
emergency; and (iv) to assist the tourism industry.
8.III.3.1 To promote reliable and efficient maritime transport
in the coastal and riverain areas of the country, particularly as it relates to
the major sectors of the economy.
8.III.3.2 To ensure that the facilities and services that are
available at the ports and harbours of the country optimise the export and
import of all types of commodities from and into Guyana.
8.IV THE STRATEGY
8.IV.1.1 A north-south highway, parallel to the existing East
Bank road will be constructed between Eastern Mandella Avenue and Soesdyke.
There will be at least four east-west roads connecting the East Bank road to the
8.IV.1.2 The road connecting
Georgetown-Soesdyke-Linden-Mabura-Kurupukari, Annai-Good Hope and Lethem will be
the north-south national highway.
8.IV.1.3 The road between Linden and Lethem will be improved to
the same standard as the highway between Georgetown and Linden.
8.IV.I.4 The ferry at Kurupukari, on the Essequibo River, will
be replaced by a bridge.
8.IV.1.5 The carriageway on the East Bank Demerara road between
La Penitence and Peter’s Hall will be widened to accommodate four lanes of
8.IV.I.6 The east-west national highway, that is the road
between Georgetown and Moleson Creek would be much improved. In particular the
pavement and the bridges between Sheriff Street and Enmore will be strengthened
to the design standards of a national highway system; and a new highway will be
constructed between Enmore and the Berbice River Bridge.
8.IV.1.7 A two-lane bridge across the Demerara River, adjacent
to the Demerara Harbour Bridge, with a vertical clearance over the navigational
channel which would enable ocean going vessels to pass under the bridge, will be
constructed. This new bridge will be connected to the East Bank Demerara Highway
and the West Bank Demerara Road. It will replace the Demerara Harbour Bridge
which will then be dismantled and its components used to construct bridges
8.IV.1.8 A two-lane bridge across the Berbice River, with a
vertical clearance over the navigational channel which would enable vessels
using the river to pass under the bridge, will be constructed.
8.IV.1.9 The road connecting Kwakwani, Ituni, Linden,
Rockstone, Anarika, Allsopp Point and Bartica will be improved to modern
standards, with a paved surface. It will cross the Essequibo River by a bridge
in the vicinity of Kokerite Island.
8.IV.1.10 Bridges across the creeks on the road from Lethem to
Marudi will be constructed.
8.IV.1.11 A paved two-lane road from Parika to Makouria and
Anarika, and between Patentia and Kamuni will be constructed.
8.IV.1.12 A two lane laterite road from Konawaruk southwards to
the Siparuni River, to meet the road between Kurupukari and Annai, with a branch
to Orinduik and other villages in the Pakaraima Mountains, will be
8.IV.1.13 The UMDA Road between Itaballi and Kurupung will be
rehabilitated and completed.
8.IV.1.14 A two-lane road between Itaballi and Eteringbang, and
a bridge across the Cuyuni River to link the Guyana road system with that of
Venezuela will be built.
8.IV.1.15 A two-lane branch road from the Itaballi-Eteringbang
road to Towakaima and Matthews Ridge, and a two lane road from Port Kaituma to
Yarakita will be constructed.
8.IV.1.16 A two-lane road from Supenaam to Towaikaima, with
branch roads to Santa Rosa and Koriabo will be constructed.
8.IV.1.17 A bridge across the Takutu River at Lethem to connect
the Guyana road system to that of Brazil will be built.
8.IV.1.18 A two-lane road from Kwakwani eastwards to Epira and
Orealla and a two lane road northwards from Orealla to Moleson Creek will be put
8.IV.1.19 A two-lane road from Marudi to Camp Jaguar, and a two
lane road from Marudi to Oronoque Camp will be constructed.
8.IV.1.20 A two-lane road from Orealla to Camp Jaguar will be
8.IV.1.21 A two-lane road from Annai eastwards to Apoteri to
meet the road from Orealla to Camp Jaguar at Lanaballi River will be
8.IV.1.22 A two-lane road from Port Kaituma to Yarakita will be
8.IV.1.23 The capacity of the roads and bridges between
Georgetown and Parika, Georgetown and Timehri, and Georgetown and Mahaica will
be increased to reduce commuting time.
8.IV.1.24 These roads, when established, will provide a
network which traverses the length and breadth of Guyana. They will connect all
the Regions of the country, give access to all its economic zones and link the
country with all its neighbours. They will enable easy movement within the
Regions. The network will also permit Guyanese to travel by road to all parts of
South America, Central America and North America.
8.IV.1.25 An autonomous highway and bridge agency, the
structure of which will include, inter alia, a highway division, a bridge
division, a geotechnical services unit and an environmental management unit will
be established. This agency will be staffed with suitably academically qualified
and experienced engineers. The highway division will also have a small
construction unit to enable it to develop new road construction techniques and
to train Guyanese contractors in their use.
8.IV.1.26 Contracting firms owned by Guyanese nationals will be
assisted through the facilitation of credit, the establishment of machinery
pools, and the provision of relevant training in the undertaking of large scale
road construction projects, to enable them to compete with foreign
8.IV.1.27 Modern standards for the construction, operation and
maintenance of the national highway system will be established.
8.IV.1.28 Funds for road maintenance are currently derived
from general revenue and foreign donors loans or grants. An appropriate schedule
of user charges will be formulated in order to generate revenues to replace or
supplement transfers from the Central Government for road maintenance.
8.IV.1.29 An annual road maintenance budget will be prepared in
which the roadways that should be maintained are identified and prioritized.
8.IV.1.30 A separate road maintenance fund will be established,
with decision power on its allocations vested in a Board that includes
representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Public Works and
Communications, the Ministry of Local Government, RDCs, NDCs, and the Private
8.IV.1.31 Tolls will be imposed for the use of new major
bridges and new roads.
8.IV.1.32 Higher taxes will be required from vehicle owners.
Indeed, the entire vehicle tax system will be periodically updated.
8.IV.1.33 The regulatory and operational functions of
government will be separated.
8.IV.1.34 The policy of driving on the left hand side of the
road will be reviewed pari passu with the establishment of road links
with Venezuela and Brazil.
8.IV.1.35 Plans will be developed for a new bridge across the
Demerara River, to be carried out through a build, operate and transfer
ownership (BOT) arrangement. The Demerara Harbour Bridge has been rehabilitated
with funding from EU. This work will extend the life of the bridge up to 2012.
Work on plans for a new high level bridge will be initiated immediately, so that
it may become operational before 2012. It may turn out that the only practicable
way to carry out the construction, operation and maintenance of the new bridge
is by a BOT arrangement, or by a build, operate, own (BOO)
8.IV.1.36 All road-related projects will conform to the
findings of environmental impact assessments.
8.IV.1.37 There is a critical shortage of skilled staff to
discharge the functions and responsibilities of the RA+D. A new autonomous
public works agency with the capacity to pay attractive salaries will be
established, and would help in this regard.
8.IV.1.38 In addition to attractive remuneration and adequate
incentive and fringe benefits packages, and the training and upgrading of the
skills of the staff, prospects for long-term career development in the context
of the strategies adumbrated here will also be stressed.
8.IV.1.39 Training in the Faculty of Technology at the
University of Guyana will be expanded and upgraded.
8.IV.1.40 Weight controls will be enforced on all roads, along
with increased frequency of inspection for weight and for observance of safety
regulations. Penalties will be increased for unsafe operations of minibuses,
violations of weight controls, and encroachment on road reserves.
8.IV.1.41 Guyana can ill afford the wanton loss of lives on our
roads resulting from minibus accidents. Safety measures will therefore be
established and enforced to lower the accident rate. Fines for the violation of
transport safety regulations will be increased and the random inspection of
operating minibuses will be carried out with greater frequency.
8.IV.1.42 Stopping areas for minibuses will be identified in
the towns, rural areas and the hinterlands at which public transport will be
required to load and unload passengers.
8.IV.1.43 Investment Strategies
8.IV.1.43.1 To date, investment in the road subsector has been
largely left to the Government. However, the magnitude of the investment needed
in the road transport subsector if this Strategy is to be implemented, is
overwhelming. Due to limited resources, the Government is unable to undertake
such investment. There is therefore scope from both local and foreign
financiers, who will be encouraged by the provision of adequate incentives, to
supplement the Government’s effort through BOT and BOO arrangements for the
construction, operation and maintenance of new transport infrastructure. The
arrangements will allow for private investors to build, operate and maintain
infrastructural facilities, to recoup their investment and make reasonable
8.IV.1.43.2 In developing the hinterland, emphasis will be
placed on core investors. If the hinterland is developed by small investors
only, it would be difficult for such a strategy to produce arterial roads. Core
investors would be those firms investing in large mining, forestry, agricultural
or hydro-power projects in areas which require significant expenditure on
roads to connect the project area to the national road system. The traffic on
such roads would be traffic into and out of the project area generated by the
mining, forestry or agricultural operations of the project. Incentives will be
given to this type of investor, if the roads that are built conform to the
national road plan, and are consonant with the national engineering
8.IV.2.1 The physical facilities at Cheddi Jagan International
Airport - Timehri including runways, taxiways, aprons, communications and
navigational aids, and the air navigation system at airfields throughout the
country will be improved.
8.IV.2.2 A feasibility study to lengthen the runway at Cheddi
Jagan International Airport - Timehri, will be immediately undertaken.
8.IV.2.3 An autonomous Airports Authority for the management of
the international airport at Timehri and other government airports will be
8.IV.2.4 An autonomous Civil Aviation Authority for the
regulation of the Civil Aviation sector will be established.
8.IV.2.5 The 1996 Civil Aviation Act will be updated, and
concomitant Air Navigation Regulations will be prepared and implemented.
8.IV.2.6 Wherever possible, Air Services Agreements will be
concluded with all countries with which Guyana wishes to exchange air
8.IV.2.7 Where such Agreements exist, but do not meet
international requirements, they will be renegotiated.
8.IV.2.8 Interior and coastal airfields will be rehabilitated
and upgraded in accordance with a plan to be formulated by the government and
the private sector.
8.IV.2.9 The use of military aircraft for civil commercial
operations will be prohibited.
8.IV.2.10 The existing limitations on helicopter operations by
privately owned companies will be removed, subject to the establishment of
regulatory standards by the Civil Aviation Authority.
8.IV.2.11 Ogle Aerodrome will be developed into a Municipal and
Regional Airport of Entry, and will be privatised.
8.IV.2.12 The development and expansion of privately owned
airlines will be promoted and encouraged by a system of incentives.
8.IV.2.13 The frequency of international air services at both
Timehri and Ogle will be increased by the upgrading of services and facilities
to promote such operations.
8.IV.2.14 Systems will be put in place to improve the country’s
search and rescue capacity. This will entail close cooperation between the
private and public sectors.
8.IV.2.15 All restrictions on Guyanese privately owned
airlines, will be eliminated. Such airlines will, of course, be subject to the
country’s air operation laws and regulatory procedures.
8.IV.3.1 All wrecks which affect navigation and the smooth flow
of traffic in and out of the harbours will be removed.
8.IV.3.2 Regulations will be established and implemented to
ensure a high degree of safety standards on board all the vessels which ply the
coastal waters of Guyana and those engaged in regional and international
8.IV.3.3 Better dredging schedules will be organised and implemented to keep
open the access channels to Guyana’s ports of entry and exit.
8.IV.3.4 Wharves and berths in the major ports will be upgraded
so that they reflect standards in keeping with prescribed harbour and port
8.IV.3.5 All aids to navigation in the access channels in the
major rivers of Guyana will be improved.
8.IV.3.6 It will be ensured that all coastal and foreign-going
vessels are issued with seaworthy certificates by duly registered dockyards from
the national grid as well as internationally recognised certification bodies.
8.IV.3.7 Conditions will be put in place to ensure a reliable
twenty-four hour per day pilot service in the ports and harbours of the Country.
8.IV.3.8 It will be ensured that the design of bridges be such
as not to restrict the normal size of barges which enter our rivers and travel
to their upper reaches.
8.IV.3.9 A canal will be dug to link the Demerara and the
Essequibo Rivers in order to reduce the distance, time and costs of
transportation between Essequibo and Demerara. This canal will significantly
decrease the cost of transporting quarry products and lumber from the Mazaruni,
Cuyuni, and Essequibo Rivers to other parts of the country.
8.IV.3.10 A comprehensive study will be conducted of the
waterways in Guyana to ascertain whether the establishment of canal linkages
between various rivers would be feasible, both physically and economically.
8.IV.3.11 A Maritime Administration will be established as a
matter of urgency. This would allow for Port State and Flag State Control
regulations to be administered and enforced. This is of particular importance
since the State is now party to the Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding on
Port State Control.
8.IV.3.12 The Harbours Division will be separated from the
Ferries Division to facilitate a greater concentration on the development of the
port. The new entity will be established as the National Ports Authority. All
navigable waters, inclusive of the economic zone, which are under the
jurisdiction of Guyana, will fall under the Harbours/Port Authority in terms of
8.IV.3.13 Given the fact that Guyana has acceded to a
significant number of key International Maritime Conventions, provision will be
made for these to be incorporated into comprehensive new national legislation to
guarantee full compliance.
8.IV.3.14 As a flag State, Guyana will ensure that the
requisite provisions are in place to provide continuous training for its
seafarers, at least at the deck ratings level. With the enforcement of the
International Regulations pertaining to Standards of Training and Certification
of Watchkeeping Officers (STCW) 1995, Guyanese seafarers are finding it
extremely difficult to keep their places on board foreign vessels because they
are not certified in keeping with the STCW 95 Convention.
8.IV.3.15 The Coast Station will be upgraded to offer an
effective service to the maritime community. This would include 24 hours per day
VHF and HF services to facilitate, inter alia Search and Rescue
Operations. At the present time this facility, for which the Guyana Telephone
and Telegraph Company is responsible, is non-functional.
8.IV.3.16 Deep Water Harbour:
8.IV.3.16.1 It is projected that the development of road links
between Brazil and Guyana, and Guyana and Venezuela, would give Guyana a
strategic advantage, if such a facility was utilised as a hub for cargo destined
for areas in these two neighboring States where easy access by sea is not
practicable. A deep water facility will therefore be established on the West
Bank of the Demerara River within two miles of the Transport and Harbours
Department Stelling at Vreed-en-Hoop. This area is easily accessible from the
main ships’ channel, and could be easily connected to the West Demerara Highway.
8.IV.3.16.2 The Berbice River deep water facility will continue
to be dredged and maintained.
8.IV.3.16.3 Consideration will be given to the use of small gas
turbine shallow displacement vessels to gain access to the interior regions of
the country thereby enhancing eco-tourism development.
8.IV.3.16.4 Standards will be established for horizontal and
vertical clearances under new bridges across rivers such as the Mahaica and
Mahaicony. The horizontal clearance will be 120 feet and the vertical clearance
7 feet, above mean high water level.
8.V PRELIMINARY INVESTMENT PROGRAMME
8.V.1.1 The following projects are identified for investment
over the next five year period:
(i) Completion of the Essequibo Coast Road Rehabilitation
(ii) Completion of the Main Road Rehabilitation Programme Phase
1 - Timehri to Mahaica.
(iii) Completion of the Main Road Rehabilitation Programme
Phase 11 - Bridge Rehabilitation.
(iv) Rehabilitation of the ECD Road from Mahaica to Abary, and
the WCB Road from Abary to Blairmont.
(v) Improvement of the stretches of the Linden - Lethem Road
between Mabura and Kurupukari and between Annai and Lethem to modern two lane
geometric standard with laterite surface, and construction of a bridge across
the Essequibo River at Kurupukari to replace the ferry.
(vi) Reconstruction of the East Bank Demerara Road between La
Penitence and Peter’s Hall as a four lane highway.
(vii) Construction of a bridge across the Berbice River, with
its access roads.
(viii) Construction of a new highway between Georgetown and
(ix) Construction of a road between Parika and Suribanna and
between Patentia and Kamuni.
(x) Rehabilitation of the Corentyne Highway.
(xi) Paving the Linden - Mabura stretch of the Linden - Lethem
(xii) Improvement of the road between Linden and Bartica to
enable cars to travel on it, and construction of a bridge in the vicinity of
Kokerite Island to replace the ferry between Suribanna and Sherima.
(xiii) Improvement of the road between Linden and Kwakwani to
enable cars to travel on it.
(xiv) Construction of bridges over creeks on the road between
Lethem and Marudi.
(xv) Construction of a two lane road between Moleson Creek and
(xvi) Execution of a feasibility study for a high level bridge
across the Demerara River to replace the DHB.
(xvii) Improvement of the roads connecting Bartica, Mahdia and Issano.
(xviii) Construction of a network of roads connecting the villages and towns
in Regions 8 and 9.
(xix) Construction of a network of roads in the Intermediate savannahs.
(xx) Construction of a bridge over the Berbice River.
8.V.2.1 The following projects are identified for investment
over a five-year period:
Safety and security would be given priority in the following
(i) Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri:
- Extension of the main runway (subject to results of the feasibility
- Resurfacing of the runways
- Apron Expansion
- Rehabilitating and improving runway approach lights
- Construction of a cargo complex, including freezer facilities
- Upgrading the crash/fire rescue service
- Implementing the CNS/ATM system, inclusive of equipment modernisation in
the air navigation and DGPS systems
(ii) Implementation of the preliminary master plan for Timehri
and Ogle airports prepared under UNDP/ICAO Project (1993) updated to reflect
current trends and needs.
(iii) Development of Ogle Municipal and Regional Airport:
- Construction of new runway and taxiways
- Construction of new Terminal Building
- Improvement of Navigational and Telecommunication Aids
- Construction and Improvement of Air Traffic Control Tower
- Improvement of Fire Hall and CFR Equipment
(iv) Upgrading and Rehabilitation of Interior and Coastal
(v) Provision of modern Search and Rescue resources to the
Civil Aviation Authority.