The unprecedented scale of infrastructural projects ongoing across the country has resulted in a scarcity of stone, prompting Public Works Minister, Bishop Juan Edghill to label the country as a “victim of its own success”.

During an exclusive interview with Guyana Standard on the sidelines of the 50th Sitting of the National Assembly today, Minister Edghill refused to acknowledge there is a stone shortage. He instead noted that there is a need for a greater supply.

The Minister was keen to note that the local suppliers and quarries have been producing stone at an extraordinary scale since 2020 and the apparent dearth is a direct consequence of heightened demand.

“I would not describe it as a shortage. I would say there is an increased level of construction of roads, buildings, and [works] at the household level. So, there needs to be a greater supply. The boom that is taking place in Guyana is what is resulting in this,” he said.

Nevertheless, the minister assured that government is moving to remedy the situation by seeking to procure crusher run and stone from regional suppliers. A document has already been issued calling for the provision of these materials.

Meanwhile, several contractors, who spoke to the Guyana Standard registered their disappointment with the state of affairs. They lamented that the scarcity of stone has a direct impact on the success of their projects, with many firms opting to renege on their commitments to clients.

One contractor also spoke of favouritism at the quarries, with the “big boys” getting the “first jump”. He noted that many of his projects are held up and his workers are now seeking alternative employment.

Another contractor told Guyana Standard that the “shortage” is now leading to price-gouging, with many hardware stores doubling the price of stone. This increase, he said, affects estimates which have to be provided to his clients.

“When we do an estimate for people, we have to include the price of the materials. Now that stone is more expensive, we can’t go and tell the people that they have to pay more for the project. There is no way they will pay more. So, I have to take that loss,” he lamented.



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