Some Pigeon Island squatters get land, titles for others soon 

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Some squatters at Pigeon Island squatting area, East Coast of Demerara, began signing up to receive legal ownership to the lands they have occupied for years now, while others were given houselot allocations to move elsewhere.

Over 40 heads of families on Friday began signing up to receive their land titles. It is a promise that was made when President Dr Irfaan Ali visited recently.

The residents, who are elated to finally begin the process to legal ownership of the lands they have occupied for years, gathered at the LifeSpring Ministries Church at Chateau Margot to make payments and sign the relevant documents.

In August Dr Ali accompanied by the Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues visited the area.

A resident, Deomattie Laljie told the News Room that after living in the area for more than 34 years, she is happy that she will finally receive a title for the land she lives on.

“I am happy about it because every time you want to put a board, you have to be scared because you have to worry that someone will come and tell you to breakdown or tell you don’t do that. I am happy now because I could do what I want because I know I have my documents with me,” Laljie said.

Initially, the land being squatted on belonged to the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL). However, Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water Susan Rodrigues during her previous visit, told squatters that those lands are being transferred to the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA).

Minister Rodrigues was present on Friday as the process took off. The Minister herself met with squatters to discuss related issues. The auditorium of the church was had several areas sectioned off to accommodate the application process while many applicants pleaded their concerns with the minister.

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water Susan Rodrigues meeting with a resident during the outreach on Friday (Photo: News Room/ December 16, 2022)

“I’ll be here, I will see with those persons whose access is still affected and I have an engineer here so we can see what can be done and we need to finalise where the boundaries are,” the Minister said.

Decades ago, Pigeon Island was an undeveloped space that people started to squat on incrementally. Over time, it has become a bustling community filled with several large housing structures and some businesses.

In addition to the squatters receiving their land titles, there has been massive road development in Pigeon Island. Road works and other community enhancement projects amounting to $80 million was just recently completed there. This was another promise that the government made to the residents.

 

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