Guyana - Infrastructure, power, and communications



Most public sector infrastructure necessary to support the private sector has deteriorated almost to the point of non-existence. Power and water supplies are so erratic that many large private sector firms have invested in their own generators and water sources. The road system has deteriorated, particularly the critical farm-to-market network of feeder roads. In 1996 it was estimated that there were 7,970 kilometers (4,953 miles) of highways, of which only 590 kilometers (367 miles) were paved. Passenger cars numbered 24,000 in 1993, and there were approximately 9,000 commercial vehicles. The sea wall system, which protects the most productive agricultural land, has been breached in several places and patched temporarily but needs major reconstruction. Even in urban areas most of the population lacks access to safe water supplies.

Social services are inadequate to meet the needs of the population. Schools lack basic repairs, books, equipment, and supplies. Hospitals operate with most equipment not working, with no drugs to dispense, insufficient budgets for food, and the inability to carry out simple diagnostic tests, such as X-rays or blood tests. In 1994, there were 30 hospitals (5 private), 162 health centers,

Communications
Country Telephones a Telephones, Mobile/Cellular a Radio Stations b Radios a TV Stations a Televisions a Internet Service Providers c Internet Users c
Guyana 70,000 (2000) 6,100 (2000) AM 3; FM 3; shortwave 1 420,000 3 46,000 3 3,000
United States 194 M 69.209 M (1998) AM 4,762; FM 5,542; shortwave 18 575 M 1,500 219 M 7,800 148 M
Brazil 17.039 M 4.4 M AM 1,365; FM 296; shortwave 161 (1999) 71 M 138 36.5 M 50 8.65 M
Suriname 64,000 4,090 AM 4; FM 13; shortwave 1 300,000 3 (2000) 63,000 2 10,000
a Data is for 1997 unless otherwise noted.
b Data is for 1998 unless otherwise noted.
c Data is for 2000 unless otherwise noted.
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [Online].

and 14 health posts. In 1997 there were 38.8 hospital beds per 10,000 persons.

Guyana has a small government-owned railway in the northwest region, while the Guyana Mining Enterprise operates a standard gauge railway of 133 kilometers (82.6 miles). The private line runs from Linden, located on the Demerara River, to Huhi and Coomacka. There is an international airport at Georgetown. Guyana has 4 ports, with the major shipping port located in Georgetown. Guyana has an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 200 nautical miles.

There is an inland public telegraph and radio communication corporation. In 1997, there were 55,100 telephone main lines (65.2 per 1,000 population). Cellular phone subscribers numbered 1,200 in 1995, and there were 85 post offices. In 1998, electricity production was 325 million kilowatt hours (kWh). More than 98 percent of electricity was produced from fossil fuels and less than 2 percent from hydropower.

Guyana has no domestic petroleum resources. The National Energy Authority (GNE) imports all petroleum products other than those required by the bauxite industry, largely through a Venezuelan line of credit. At present some exploration activity is going on both offshore and in southern Guyana, but no commercially viable resources have yet been located.

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