Success, Chateau Margot residents want squatters removed immediately
Residents living at Success and Chateau Margot on the East Coast of Demerara are claiming that squatters are involved in criminal activity and have been robbing and terrorising them.
A group of residents met with the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) on Wednesday calling for the swift removal of hundreds of squatters.
“We are here to raise our concerns pertaining to the activities that are taking place currently with these persons now taking up illegal residence within our community. Some of these illegal activities include theft, they are stealing from residents and there have been reports of selling of marijuana and planting of same,” one resident explained.
Another frustrated resident said, “these people are showing you that they are not moving the police present yes in the area but it ain’t make no sense cause these people still doing what they want to do.”
The residents further claimed that the squatters have been keeping them prisoners in their own homes and called on the police to conduct regular patrols in the area and also pleaded with authorities to install street lights.
“I am a concerned resident of Success.
“My concern is for our safety because now we are facing verbal abuse on a daily basis…they are showing bullyism to us. I am fed-up of the situation and nobody in authority as far as I am concern can do anything to these people because these people are saying they are not moving.
“They are stealing and you are seeing that they are taking people things but you cannot say anything for your own safety.”
The Government has been trying for some time now to remove persons unlawfully occupying State lands in the area. The squatters last week demanded compassion from the Government claiming that they have invested too much in the structures they erected and furnished to be relocated now.
The Housing authorities are now trying to fast-track existing housing applications and offer the convenience of new housing applications, free of cost to the squatters.
Chairman for the NDC, Zaman Shaw, in response to the residents said they have been meeting with various agencies to address the situation.
“We are in support of the agencies and the government through the Ministry of Housing and Water, we’ve been getting support from the police force and also the Central Housing and Planning Authority and it remains the same, we are not condoning and we are not encouraging squatting,” the Chairman said.
The lands the squatters are occupying are owned by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo). Chief Executive Officer of GuySuCo Sasenarine Singh has said the squatters are hurting the industry’s regional reputation and future financial prospects.
The squatters also clashed with the police recently during efforts to relocate them. This led to the Police using tear gas and pellets to disperse the squatters who were gathered in large numbers.