CH&PA to begin selecting beneficiaries, promoting new hinterland housing project

Georgetown, GINA, June 22, 2016

As part of the 2016 programme of the new sustainable hinterland housing project in Regions One and Nine, the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) will be constructing 17 houses, and replacing 26 roofs within 12 communities.

Senior Community Development Officer, CH&PA Donell Bess-Bascom however, advised that all the communities would not be seeing housing construction commencing in 2016, “but they will have houses and roofs done by the end of the programme.”

Beginning this year, CH&PA will be seeking to have initial consultation with the leaders and residents in the communities, in relation to selecting the beneficiaries and promoting the project, she explained.

The new sustainable hinterland housing project is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, through a US$3.1M loan.  The project is follow-on to the hinterland housing pilot project which was implemented between 2009 and 2015. This earlier project was the first state intervention, specifically dedicated to addressing hinterland housing needs.

The new project has the objective of improving the livability of low income households, in pre-selected hinterland communities, with the aim of improving access to housing, potable water, sanitation, and also promoting women empowerment, Bascom explained.

The new project has two components; one provides for the construction of full houses, together with (pit) toilets and a rain water harvesting system. Component two allows for the replacement of derelict thatch roofs with zinc roofs, complete with rain water harvesting system, as well as toilets.

The new project builds on the lessons learnt from the earlier one which was successful because the main focus was on community participation, Bascom pointed out.

“The homes were actually designed by the community, the labour is procured from the community, as much of the materials as possible are also bought from the community. So whilst we also help to improve the housing conditions, we also help to create employment in the communities as well,” she added.

According to Bascom, when the CH&PA talks about the success of the programme, many persons question why the agency is taking zinc roofs to the hinterland communities. She explained however, that during the design phase of the pilot, all the communities designed homes which catered for zinc roofs, because of the issues they had with access to potable water.

“In Region Nine, they were very clear that the zinc roof assisted with the drying of cassava bread, as well as it is more conducive for the solar panel,” Bascom said. Cassava bread is a staple in the diet of hinterland residents.

Under this new project, the 12 communities which will benefit include in Region One, at White Water and Kamwatta, in the Mabaruma sub-district, Haimacabra in Mourca sub district, and Sebai in the Matakai sub-region.

 The project will be implemented in Region Nine in the North Rupununi, Central Rupununi, the South Pakaraima, as well as the Deep South in communities such as Kwatamang, Katoka, Massara, Karasabai,  Hiawa,  Sand Creek and Potarinau.