Guyhoc squatters to see a turnaround

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─ after 2 decades, community regularisation concerns are being addressed

─ Ministry of Communities’ Housing Department to provide house lots or regularise community

DPI, Guyana, Friday, April 5, 2019

After twenty years of neglect under the previous administration, residents of the Guyhoc Squatting Area, otherwise referred to as ‘Big Yard’, are finally having their living condition addressed by Minister within the Ministry of Communities, with responsibility for Housing, Valerie Adams-Yearwood.

The residents in the squatting community were relocated from Tiger Bay over two decades ago to their current abode. It is under the previous administration that they were promised house lots after few were given minimal building material. Unfortunately, none of those promises were kept and their plight worsened as time progressed.

After assessing the situation on the ground, Minister Adams-Yearwood said “this is not a place you can continue to live as is. Even if you remain here, this place would definitively have to be upgraded”.

Accompanied by Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes, Minister Adams-Yearwood promised to ensure the enhancement of the residents’ living situation, stating:

“I am saying to you: we are going to commit to changing this situation.”

With over 70 dwellers in the small knit community, many expressed their satisfaction in the Coalition Government’s attitude towards addressing their plight. One of those persons, Roland Rose, was the first resident that was relocated to the squatting area. He expressed, “I am glad that Minister is here trying to do something for poor people”.

Another resident, Euclid Hackett Jr., noted, “I appreciate this help because if you look around in this community, you would see that there is no advancement for children”, as he drew into focus the poor living conditions in which the residents are made to cope. Hackett Jr. further added “the children [are not] getting to study properly… there are ten persons and fifteen persons living in a very small apartment”.

At the culmination of the ministerial engagement, the residents were gifted food hampers by Minister Valerie Adams-Yearwood.

Over the course of a cleanup exercise tomorrow within the community, residents of ‘Big Yard’ will elect a team of leaders amongst themselves that will liaise with the Ministry of Communities on the path forward.

Shaquille Bourne.

Images: Jules Gibson.