The Linden-Lethem road: foolishness or an investment? – By Adam Harris

If the truth be told, the Chinese recognise the importance of trading with Brazil. Some Guyanese had also recognised the importance. Banks DIH tried to get its beer into the neighbouring Brazilian towns but logistics forced it to abandon that venture.

At present, there are a few who use the current trail to ship goods to Lethem. Their efforts have been such that each day hundreds of Brazilians come to Lethem to make purchases since they find the goods on the Guyana side so much cheaper.

But for Brazil the need to access Port Georgetown is so much greater. That country ships sugar, soy, containerised cargo, coffee, corn, wheat, salt, citrus pulp, orange juice, paper, automobiles and alcohol. Its ports are overwhelmed because of infrastructure and labour problems.

I can see hundreds of trucks coming down the road and using the Soesdyke-Linden Highway to access Port Georgetown. Immediately, I see a logistical nightmare. For starters, there is going to be the need for many more roads in Georgetown, larger port facilities, hundreds of port workers and untold numbers of Customs staff.

The planners of the Linden-Lethem road know these things and they see the economic spin-off. The containers from Brazil will bring tons of money for the economy but given the apparent lack of labour at the Guyana end, the Brazilians may find their goods sitting at Port Georgetown for a long time.

Perhaps this could spur the Brazilians to help fund feeder roads to the coast. President Donald Ramotar at one time considered passing the Linden-Lethem road through Bartica and across the Essequibo River to follow the Del Conte Road along the eastern shore of the Essequibo River.

There would also be the need for a road on the western shore of the Demerara River to ports that would spring up on the west side.

The very coastal development could spring from the Linden-Lethem road but would Guyana be in a position to take advantage of the developments.

Money would be flowing into Guyana and there would be thousands of jobs on offer. But as some of us are witnessing, there are Guyanese who simply do not want to work. Just this week, I noticed that the Guyana Police Force is 600 short.

Someone is advertising for masons, carpenters and labourers. It does not take much skill to be a labourer but there are still vacancies because people are simply not going to work. Perhaps Guyana could become like the Middle East, having to hire foreign labour.

This seems to be the trend already. We have many foreign nationals in the country and they are taking up jobs even as some Guyanese say that there are no jobs. Trinidadians abound in the oil sector.

The Linden-Lethem road would cost a pretty penny. Must Guyana put in the supporting infrastructure along the coast ahead of its construction? Perhaps, there is a plan for massive road works all along the major rivers all leading to Port Georgetown.

(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Kaieteur News newspaper.)

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Comments

  • kamtanblog  On October 14, 2019 at 3:25 am

    Very interesting take with insightful
    historical references.
    After 2nd March 2020 let’s hope the
    jackasses elected decide and move
    Old GT to capital city on higher ground
    nearer CJ international airport.
    Learning from the mistakes/success
    of Brazillia new capital city of Brazil
    in middle of Amazonia.

    Go figure
    Go decide

    Kamtan
    PS no charge for our opinions of us in the
    diaspora. More guyanese living outside
    de fatherland.

  • Denise  On October 14, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Jagdeo was concerned about the drug trade invading Guyana if the offer by the Brazilians was accepted??? I think it was more like the Brazilians not wanting to pay bribe money on top of footing the bill for the road. 22 years of procrastination. That road would have already been built and business bustling.

    • Trevor  On October 14, 2019 at 1:13 pm

      Jagdeo and the entire PPP is the drug trade. You think they own million American dollar mansions across the coastline by working 9 to 5? What nonsense is he talking? He and his former handlers helped turned Guyana into a narco state from 1997 to 2015.

  • Trevor  On October 14, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Guyana population will increase from its current 780,000 to almost 4 to 5 million if that road is constructed right now. Lots of poverty in northern Brazil and currently hyperinflation in Venezuela.

    • kamtanblog  On October 14, 2019 at 1:46 pm

      Compound that with “black gold” oil
      a highly inflammable mix.
      Border control at borders will certainly
      have to be increased/implemented.
      Controlled immigration way forward.
      Illegals turfed out…. no ifs buts !

      Kamtan

    • Lais  On October 28, 2019 at 9:25 am

      Hi, Trevor. Can you tell me where you got this projection cenario for Guyana population?

      • Trevor  On October 28, 2019 at 2:11 pm

        Look at GT right now and see sheer Cubans, Venezuelans and Chinese man with duffel bags of money buying up every square inch of land and even trench.

  • wally n  On October 28, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    BORDER CONTROL???? Good for GUYANA not for the U S??? Is the road a necessity right now? If not shelve the idea, if the Chinese are involved, everyone knows the benefits are for themselves, finally remember… GUYANA has a hard time maintaining city roads, try maintaining a busy highway, which I believe will be longer and busier than the other one.
    There are benefits to be had, but this should be decided by the Guyanese Government, not an outside entity.

    • kamtanblog  On October 28, 2019 at 1:32 pm

      North Brazil is willing to build and
      maintain road as GT gives them access
      to carribean and USA markets. Shortest
      direct route.
      Cooperation is not a one way street…
      More a dual carriage way.
      Both Guyana and Brazil will benefit from
      such a project. Today I can hire a car in
      Manaus N Brazil and drive via Boa Vista to
      Lethem tarmac dual carriage way then a dirt
      track through dense Amazonia to GT.
      It is 2019 not 1919.

      Way forward

      Kamtan

  • wally n  On October 29, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Kaptan Expand on how would the road helps Brazil’s exports?

    • kamtanblog  On October 29, 2019 at 1:37 pm

      Goods and services will be transported
      by road to GT ports for onward
      transshipment to carribean/USA/EU
      ROW markets.

      Build the roads and it will be used.
      Cars coaches trucks et al
      It’s not rocket science.

      Soon I will be able to travel by car from
      UK across EU into Russia and China india
      japan….new Silk Road. A friend of mine has just cycled from
      UK to japan to watch the rugby World Cup.

      He will return to Uk after. Is also raising money for charity.

      Go figure

      Kamtan

  • wally n  On October 29, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    Goods and services will be transported
    by road to GT ports for onward
    transshipment to carribean/USA/EU
    ROW market?
    You sure? Double loading?Warehousing?Wharf/Port capacity?
    I doubt it, maybe later,way later. If they pay for the upgrading, then let’s go

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