The Community Infrastructure Improvement Project (CIIP) has invested over $4.6 M recently to rehabilitate and construct 18 footpath bridges in several communities in Regions Three, Four, Five and Six.
Approximately 1,800 residents are direct beneficiaries of the bridges, which replaced derelict structures encompassing broken rails, loose planks, missing planks and rotten beams all of which made the structures unsafe for users.
The Ministry of Housing and Water through this component of CIIP helped to provide improved access within the following Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs): Seafield/ Tempie; Rosignol/ Zeelust; Profit/ Rising Sun; Unity/ Vereeniging; Golden Grove/ Diamond Place; Gibraltar/ Fyrish; Lancaster/ Hogstye; Hague/ Blankenburg; Best Klien/ Pouderoyen; Greenwich Park/ Vergenoegen; Hydronie/ Good Hope; and Stewartville/ Cornelia Ida.
The targeted areas were identified by the NDCs and communities and works were undertaken in where bridges were non-existent, deplorable or unusable.
According to Bibi Ameena Bacchuss, Overseer of Unity/ Vereeniging NDC, the link between the communities of Good Hope and Hand-en-Veldt, East Coast Demerara is now strengthened thanks to the construction of the bridge, which is used mainly by residents who take their children to the private daycare, nursery and primary school.
She emphasized that this small project undertaken by the Ministry has great importance to the two communities. For numerous years the NDC was unable to repair the previous structure owing to financial limitations.
“The bridge was in a terrible condition…It was unsafe to cross with some planks missing and some rotten…residents avoided using the bridge and were using a private entrance…I am really glad it was repaired,” Bacchuss lamented.
Another area where access to a school was made a priority is Tempie at Quarter Walk, Region Five. The main users of this bridge are students attending No.29 Primary School and residents. It also provides direct access to the Public Road saving residents time and energy.
According to a resident, the previous bridge was abandoned for some time because of its deplorable condition. “The bridge was shaky and had missing planks and so crossing was impossible and so we had to use the dam and of course that was not good during the rainy weather,” the resident said.
A new access was created at Greenwich Burial Ground, Region Three. The bridge was built at the back of the cemetery’s compound to provide access to unused plots. There is a bridge at the front of the cemetery, where most of the land space has been utilized and this had made accessing the cemetery difficult.
CIIP aims at improving access and aesthetics in target areas through initiatives which creates local employment and fosters community cohesion.
Happy users of the recently constructed timber bridge linking the communities of Good Hope and Hand-en-Veldt, Region Four