64 Zeelugt residents now legal owners of their lands
Sixty-four persons of Zeelugt Phase one and two, Region Three, are now legal owners of lands they have occupied for decades after receiving titles on Friday.
From as far back as 1999, they were allocated lands by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) through the Sugar Industry Labour Welfare Fund without having legal ownership.
Government understanding the importance of such a document, intervened to ensure they are the rightful owners.
Single mother, Wilhelmina Singh also understands what it means to have legal rights to the place she calls home. Singh said now that she is the rightful owner, she will be able to complete her home.
She explained that when she moved into the area and began construction over 20 years ago, she lost her husband just after a year and was unable to complete her home.
“I am very glad I could have this certificate, so I could do whatever I want and complete the rest of my house… being a single parent and I had a baby and three other children, two years apart. So, it was very difficult to work and take care of them and build house,” Singh said.
Another resident, Ricardo Elcock expressed gratitude for what the government has done for him. Elcock related that since he started living in the community close to a decade ago, it has been a struggle.
However, with the title, he said it presents him with the opportunity to now extend his home to make his family comfortable.
“Before we had this title, we had to actually start your own house with whatever finance you have. So, it is only safe to say that the bank would not have taken any other paper just like that. So, for now, I am thinking in terms of doing some extension and go into a commercial bank to have the finance to offset those,” Elcock stated.
Alwyn Bisram said for over 20 years he had experienced a number of challenges in getting the title for his land. After receiving his title, Bisram described it as an early birthday present.
“Without a title, you cannot go to the bank, you cannot get a loan or anything and without your title, you have no say regardless you pay for the land, you have no say… I am very much proud of having this here now because this is a birthday gift I get, because tomorrow is my birthday,” he added.
Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall spearheaded the exercise along with Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal.
The Attorney General said the distribution of titles is government’s way of empowering people.
He said it now affords them opportunities they did not have for over two decades.
“For the first time in your life you can add the name of any person you wish to that title, to make them the owner of the land and the building. That is what is called empowerment and our government is committed to empowering all of our people,” the attorney general explained.
Minister Croal in brief remarks said the handing over of the title demonstrates why the people of Guyana elected the PPP/C administration. He further explained that the process to get the title was a collaborative effort between several ministries and government agencies.
“You elect a government to ensure that we work every day possibly in our lives to help you and to help fix your issues and to help resolve your issues. But ultimately, the ulterior objective is to make your life better,” Minister Croal stated.
The President Dr Irfaan Ali-led administration since taking office has been working across the country to ensure people have legal rights to lands they have occupied for years.