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Healing by rebuilding

The Meerzorg–Albina Integration Corridor is 137.8 km long. Envisioned by the Initiative for the Integration of the Regional Infrastructure of South America, this road is part of the integration corridor that connects Brazil, French Guiana, Suriname, and Guyana. In addition, the road connects Paramaribo (the capital) to the eastern part of the country, an area that was previously inaccessible in the aftermath of the Suriname Guerrilla War (1986–1992). The war left its marks on the road and left it in a very bad state. During that time, the journey to Albina, in eastern Suriname, was a very unpleasant and a dangerous four hour drive. Stopping to maneuver one’s vehicle around some of the difficult sections of the road made drivers easy targets for nearby road raiders.

IDB approved three loans totaling $102,500,000 to rehabilitate and improve the Meerzorg–Albina Corridor and consequently improve access to important economic zones, facilitate tourism and regional integration of the country, lower transport costs on the road, and improve road safety of the road.

Rehabilitation of the road is in its final stages, and it now takes only two and a half hours to travel from Paramaribo to Albina. Buses are traveling with greater frequency on the road. This gives the people living in Moengo and Albina (towns along the road) a cheaper alternative than the taxis they previously had to take. Suriname also enjoys more frequent visits from its French neighbors who come to spend their weekends and vacations in Paramaribo.

As Glenda—who lives in Moengo—describes, residents and travelers of the area are grateful that the road has been rehabilitated.  Glenda imparted, “Before, it took us forever to get to either Albina or to Paramaribo. The road also was not very friendly to my car. The drive to the city would damage my undercarriage and my tyres. This development was really needed and we are grateful for it.”

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