IN the past, the residents of the hill-top community of Silver Hill looked for short-cuts to reach the town of Mabaruma and the list included a swampy trek through the forested area on planks.
Today, the situation at the North West District community has changed and approximately 21 families of the community can walk in ease along a bridge which the town council started constructing in 2017. The 620 feet walkway is almost completed.
The bridge stretches over the swamp but a small waterway, called the Attabani Creek, made the trip difficult in the days prior to the bridge’s fruition, especially during the rainy season. Residents navigated on planks to get to Mabaruma. Recently, the Guyana Chronicle spoke to Egbert Dubra, the Superintendent of Works at the town council, during a visit to the area, and he noted that the bridge was seen as a major link for the people of Silver Hill. He led this publication on a tour of the structure which lies between the two hilly communities.
Dubra said that the project’s conceptualisation started when the council came into being post-2015 when discussions were held between Wilfred Murray, the Community Development Council (CDC) official of Silver Hill, Mr Monty Broomes, the owner of the land, and also Town Clerk Barrington Ward.
He said that the municipality’s proposed projects saw the bridge being put on the table in 2017. A sum of $1.5M was expended on the first part of the project which covered 320 feet and included construction as well as clearing of the pathway for the bridge. In 2018, another subvention to the council from the government saw a sum of $1M being expended on the project and an additional 300 feet was built.
“We are hoping that from the 2019 budget proposal, we can complete another 500 feet, which is the remaining length of the project,” he said. He said approximately 160 persons from Silver Hill are benefitting from the project and he added that there is a popular playground at the community which is usually filled with visitors during the holiday seasons and special events.
He said that the area where the bridge lies is ideal for tourists, given the scenes which one encounters along the route.”I think its serving its purpose, maybe one can do bird-watching here,” he said with a smile. Dubra pointed out too that the schoolchildren of Silver Hill are the most important beneficiaries of the project, since it saves them time to get to school. He expressed hope that the project will be completed this year and he also noted that the erection of lamps along the route would add to the aesthetics of the facility.
The town council, which was formed in 2016 when Local Government Elections (LGE) was held for the first time in more than two decades, has been working on several projects within the town. Among the lot is the construction of a farm-to-market road at the village of Koberimo Hill. That project will see vehicles entering the village for the very first time.