800 house lots for Essequibo residents by March

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Some 800 residents of the Essequibo Coast will benefit from land allocation when the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) takes its ‘Dream Realised’ initiative to the Pomeroon-Supenaam Region in March.

The Ministry of Housing and Water, in collaboration with the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission, has identified lands in Onderneeming and Charity for allocation.

Subject minister, Collin Croal made this announcement during an outreach at the Charity Secondary School, on Wednesday. He was accompanied by a team of technical officers from the CH&PA and the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI).

In his address at the meeting, Minister Croal said the PPP/C Administration has embarked on a robust plan to address land matters countrywide. Its objective is to reduce the backlog of 70,000 land applications in the system at CH&PA, 2,000 of which are from Region Two.

“We have committed as a government, to deliver over 50,000 house lots across the regions in five years and you are no exception,” he said.

To this end, the government has committed to allocating 10,000 house lots, as well as distributing 7,000 land titles countrywide this year.

Back in December, when President Irfaan Ali conducted an outreach in the region, several persons complained about being duped into paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for lands that are not available or were allocated to someone else.

Minister Croal said these matters would be investigated and victims of these fraudulent acts would be given priority at the upcoming land allocation initiative. Additionally, to ensure that there is no recurrence of those acts, the minister said the Regional Housing Department would be restructured. To this end, four technical officers would be assigned to man the facility.

“A building was identified for the regional office… By the end of March, we will be doing internal work in the building to have it functioning. There are four positions to be filled, a regional housing officer and an assistant regional housing officer, a clerk as well as an enforcement officer. These positions will be advertised and those persons will come from the Region,” he explained.

Minister Croal encouraged the residents to take advantage of the CH&PA’s online services, and to follow-up with the office to ensure their information is updated within the system.

Some of the residents during the meeting (Photo: DPI/February 17, 2021)

With regard to water, he said the ministry is working to increase the percentage of treated water across the country. In Region Two, there will be scheduled maintenance from this evening, to flush the water distribution systems in Charity. This, Minister Croal said, would increase the water pressure to 90 per cent and improve the quality of the water.

This programme would be replicated in communities along the coast. The GWI will be acquiring a small rig to undertake its capital programme this year. The rig would be used to start drilling a number of water wells in the Pomeroon areas.

Meanwhile, Regional Chairperson, Ms. Vilma De Silva commended the initiative, which she said was specifically requested by the Regional Democratic Council administration to address land and other matters. This initiative is part of the Ministry’s weekly ‘Public Day’ activities to ensure continuous engagement with residents and communities. (Department of Public Information)

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