Road Upgrades Bring Prosperity in Georgia
March 19, 2014
Tamar Gviniashvili cultivates grapes and other fruits on her land in the Lamiskana village of Shida Kartli region of Georgia.
Along with other farmers in Lamiskana, she will now be able to transport produce to lucrative city markets more quickly, thanks to newly-rehabilitated secondary and local roads in the area.
“The new road has helped us so much because now ten minutes are enough to get to the nearby town of Igoeti. Previously, we needed one hour. The new road means we have fresher produce to sell at market,” says Gviniashvili.
The renewed roads in Georgia are part of a government road rehabilitation project supported by the World Bank.
The project aims to improve local connectivity and travel time, and help Georgia progress in selected areas including agriculture, infrastructure, and tourism, with the hope that this will spur jobs.
In Lamiskana, the project includes renewing roads, which lead to some of the area’s potentially-rich tourist sites and museums housing exhibits about the region’s history.
The new road has helped us so much because now ten minutes are enough to get to a nearby town.
“We wanted the road to extend to the museum, in order to attract more tourists, so we had sent a note to the municipality, and they helped,” says Pikria Khokrishvili, who works in a Lamiskana museum that the project made more accessible.
About 150,000 people are expected to directly benefit from Georgia’s road renewal project, which aims at rehabilitating and improving up to 200 kilometers of various sections of the country’s secondary and local road network.
In the mountains of Georgia’s Zomleti region, local residents hired under the project are turning formerly-mud and dirt paths into asphalt roads, fortified with concrete and other erosion-prevention structures to ensure protection from even the wettest and snow heavy weather.
The new road will enable locals to take their products to the markets in town.
“This road will be seven kilometers long and will serve seven villages during the winter when there is a lot of snow, so the new road will enable locals to take their products to the markets in town,” says Irakli Kvachadze, who oversees some of the road construction in Zomleti.
Vardo Bolkvadze, a Zomleti resident and retired teacher, says the new asphalt roads will save her time getting back and forth from necessary family visits, and that she plans to spend that extra time on other chores.
“We are glad because the road will lead to our houses. Now it will take us one and a half hour, instead of three,” says Vardo.
Back in Lamiskana, where the project has already helped renovate several roads, 75-year-old Dariko Ekvsshavrashvili says the journey between her home and her field to collect food takes half the time it used to, previously.
“It is very nice for the population because they can come and go easily. The village is happy that there is now a proper road,” says Dariko, adding that she hopes that all roads in the area will be renovated some day, helping cut travel time.
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