More than 30 people are now dead as a result of accidents that had occurred because of potholes on Guyana’s roadways.
Those deaths occurred within the past 12 months alone, with an overall figure of just around 70 over a 36 months period.
It would mean that potholes are generally responsible for the road deaths of an average of about two persons per month since 2015.
For those who have lost their loved ones as a result of these pothole-related accidents, the blame should be placed squarely at the feet of David Patterson’s Ministry of Public Infrastructure, whom they have accused of being the most negligent section of the State when it comes to making the country’s roadways safe.
‘Imagine dem can’t even tek care of de potholes that is responsible for de loss of so many lives over de years, much less fuh actually maintain roads”, lamented Ms Nadira Khan who had lost her only son earlier this year to a pothole-related accident.
But the case of Ms Khan’s son is not the only one that has left nothing more than pain and misery for many families.
Only about ten days ago, a mother and her son were pronounced dead on arrival at the Hospital after a car that was driven by the dead woman’s daughter, dropped into a pothole at Yawokabbra, on the Linden Soesdyke Highway.
Prior to that, two lives were lost at Mahaicony as a result of a minibus dropping into a pothole, while an unidentified man had lost his life after his motorcycle had also dropped into a pothole on Sussex street Georgetown.
But the most notable among pothole-related road deaths in recent times would have been the accident where a family of five died tragically after a car that they were travelling in, dropped into a pothole, and then careened into the path of a rice truck.
Those figures are just a fraction of the number of road deaths that were caused by potholes over the past 12 months alone, and are based mostly on news reports, since the Guyana Police Force traffic accident records are poor in detail, and generally does not specify what may have contributed to a fatal accident, unless it is alcohol.
Apart from the loss of lives, and the millions of dollars in vehicle repairs that these potholes collectively cost vehicle owners; dozens of persons are also known to have either become crippled or otherwise disabled as a result of being involved in a pothole-related accident.
Interestingly, none of them was ever compensated by the state, and is often forced to pay for their own treatment at private hospitals.
During an open-interview session with motorists from around Georgetown last week, several of them were quick to point out that potholes are much more present on the East Coast of Demerara, and the Mahaicony roadway leading to Berbice.
Many of minibus drivers lamented that the potholes usually starts as a small unsuspecting hole, and would usually start to expand in its size, especially when the rainy season commences.
For them, heavy vehicles that traverses the roadways were also blamed for inadvertently contributing to the further deterioration of the holes, which usually becomes hazardous over time.
While the Ministry of Public Works has been making efforts to build better roads countrywide, potholes on many major roads, including the Rupert Craig Highway, Sheriff street, Sussex street, Dennis street in Sophia, and many others are currently overwhelmed with potholes.
What is sure though, is that many of these potholes are only filled immediately after a fatal accident would have occurred.