$600M for Hinterland housing

―317 houses to be constructed in Regions 1 and 9

– improving living condition for residents of Regions 1 and 9

– improving water conditions

– promoting women empowerment

– materials purchased from regions

– employment provided to residents of Regions 1 and 9 through IDB-funded project

DPI, Guyana, Friday, March 15, 2019

The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA)’s $600M Sustainable Housing Programme has been transforming the lives and bringing relief to hundreds of residents in the hinterland communities in Regions 1 and 9.

The programme, which is a collaboration between the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), aims to construct more than 317 houses in both regions with the aim of improving residents’ living conditions, improving sanitation and water distribution and boosting empowerment of women.

Denise Daniels is one of the thousands of beneficiaries. She once lived in a one-bedroom shack with 14 persons. She had to cook outside and fetch water for long distances. Now she has been relieved of these burdens.

“I don’t have to go outside; the kitchen is right in the house, I don’t have to fetch water a far distance, its right inside the house and it’s a great improvement,” Daniels said.

According to Deputy Director of Community Development attached to CH&PA, Donnel Bess-Bascom, 300 additional houses will be constructed this year. “The communities participating in this programme were selected by the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and these communities in Region 1 are Kamwatta, White water, Sibai and Himakabra. In Region 9, we are working in the communities of Quatamang, Massara, Katoka, Iowa, Karasabai.”

Bess-Bascom further said that in Region 1, the programme is completed with the construction of 93 houses and 33 roofs replacements done, while in Region 9, the programme aims to complete a total of 224 houses and replace 53 rooves for families. So far, 101 houses were constructed with 15 rooves replaced.

Bess-Bascom emphasised that a participatory approach is strongly embraced in the execution of the project. She said there were several purchases of Indigenous materials from the very communities within Regions 1 and 9.

“The houses are designed by residents in the communities thereby creating employment opportunities. In the case of Region 1, we are building wooden houses, with zinc rooves complete with a rainwater harvesting system. The houses measure 20 by 25 feet in size and come with four rooms, elevated seven feet from ground level. I must mention that this is the Indigenous pattern of housing in Region one,” the Deputy Director said.

She noted that each house is constructed with a team of five persons, two hired as skilled persons from the communities and the other three from the beneficiary’s households. Bess-Bascom said the houses constructed in Region 9 are built with burnt bricks, another Indigenous style of housing in the region.

According to Bess-Bascom, the sustainable Housing Project for Hinterland residents commenced in July 2016 and will come to an end by December 31, 2019.

Ayana George

Images: Department of Public Information

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