Housing ministers meet with Essequibo squatters

Residents of Charity and neighbouring communities along the Essequibo Coast turned out in their numbers to meet with Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, Minister within the ministry, Susan Rodrigues, and representatives from the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) on Wednesday.

The ministerial outreach saw discussions on the regularisation and distribution of ownership documentation. The engagement was a follow-up to an earlier meeting held by His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali.

Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal assisting an applicant

Minister Croal reiterated that the government is keen on providing a better life for all Guyanese. He said the administration will continue to work in every community regardless of race or political persuasions.

Improving access to water and constructing two concrete roads are among the interventions in the area.

Minister Rodrigues assisting one of the applicants

“The fact that we can reach this phase of being able to have these persons sign up their agreements will tell you that we have done the preliminary work…this is a matter that is outstanding for a while,” Minister Croal stated.

At the outreach, some 50 persons signed their agreements and should receive their titles within two days. 

Minister Rodrigues inspecting the squatting area in Charity

Meanwhile, Minister Rodrigues noted that the verification process for persons in the squatting area recommenced when the PPP/C Administration assumed office in August 2020.

Minister Rodrigues underlined that the initiative to regularise the squatting area began when President Ali was Minister of Housing and Water back in 2011.

“We have completed that verification process and we are here today to sign people up for their agreements of sale and their titles…We are also here to assess the road network.”

Some of the applicants at the housing outreach

Minister Rodrigues highlighted that President Ali has committed to the construction of two concrete roads.

Road construction will also soon commence in the area.

Residents expressed satisfaction with the government’s intervention in the area.

Washington Chase, applicant

One of the applicants, Washington Chase, who has been living in the area for 10 years, said the housing outreach will benefit the residents, “Well, for me, it’s a great improvement cause for the way we living for years we didn’t get any improvement. Well, I believe it will be a great improvement, at least, for the school children. Because sometimes when the place floods, you have to walk in the water and all of these kinds of things.”

Shaneeza Kansinally, applicant

A single parent of two, Shaneeza Kansinally said, “Well, once I get through, my children will be comfortable and feel happy. Well, to the government, I thank God for the government, they help us to get through every single thing. So, I praise God for them.”

Father of six, Ralph Garraway expressed his elation about the outreach since the area is easily flooded, “Yeah, I feel really glad to know well to own a piece of space in the squatting area.”

Carmalita Abbensetts, applicant

Unita Rahaman stayed, “Well, I’m so happy that, at least, the paper going in the process now and I hope I get through with the title soon as possible.

“We feel great about the outreach because all of the time we went down,” Carmalita Abbensetts said. She related that she has been residing in the area for over 25 years and she feels happy to know that the area will be developed.”