Major breach at Corkwood keeps fuel trucks away from Lethem

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A major breach on the Linden/Lethem road at Corkwood just south of the Iwokrama Reserve is a cause for growing concern at Lethem as  fuel trucks cannot pass this stretch  and the village is running out of
fuel.
Regional Chairman of Region 9 (Upper Essequibo/Upper Takutu) Clarindo Lucas, said last night that two gas stations at Lethem, the Takatu and the Texaco branch, were completely out of fuel.
He also said that owners of some small vehicles which had managed to pass the bad stretch with fuel from Georgetown were selling fuel on the road at Lethem yesterday afternoon at very high prices.
“It is not a desirable nor very safe situation at all,” said Lucas.
The breach at Corkwood too has cut the supply of bulk food transportation from Georgetown to Lethem.
Lucas reported that certain foodstuffs which Lethem and indeed South Rupununi depend on from the Coastland were running short.
He explained: “We get many of our foodstuffs from Bonfim and Brazil routinely. But there are certain foodstuffs that we need to get from the Coastland because these are very expensive in Brazil.
“The longer the repairs take, the tougher our food situation with respect to certain items will become.”
Lucas last night appealed to the Authorities and the Contractor at Corkwood to speed up the process of repairs to that stretch of the road.
“The fuel situation is already spiraling out of control. Urgent measures need to be taken to get the breach fixed so that supplies can come through. The situation is becoming critical.”
Meanwhile drivers of light vehicles which traversed the road way Sunday and yesterday confirmed that the stretch at Corkwood was in very bad condition.
“The light vehicles cannot cross this stretch on their own, they are being pulled over by a tractor. This was happening up to yesterday”, said one mini bus driver who was preparing for a return trip to Lethem last night.
He said that it seemed to him that there was some sort of underground spring or source of water at that section of the road that was causing the breach.
He said that he saw several trucks, all heavily loaded with goods, parked just before the breach at Corkwood with the drivers waiting for the breach to be fixed.
“The problem is at Corkwood,” he also empathically stated.
Heavy rainfall during July and into August caused
flooding on sections of the Linden-Lethem roadway which eroded sections of the roadway and made it impassable for both heavy and light vehicles.
The poor condition of flood-hit sections of the roadway has prevented fuel trucks from Georgetown reaching Lethem for the past three to four weeks.
Repairs which started in early August have been ongoing but have been stymied by ongoing bad weather.
Residents of Rupununi described the rainfall in August as the heaviest in living memory.
The road damage had been exacerbated by deep wheel ruts caused by trucks laden with goods and these trucks have been banned from using the road since early August.