Housing ministry hosts Women’s Safety Audit Workshop in East Bank communities

The Ministry of Housing and Water, through the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), on Saturday organised a Women’s Safety Audit (WSA) Workshop in Providence Phase 2 and Herstelling New Scheme, East Bank Demerara (EBD).

The aim of the workshop, which falls under the Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme (AHUAP), is to improve the infrastructure in these communities and ensure the safety of women and girls.

In her address, Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues stressed the importance of such initiatives in the country’s development process. She emphasised the need to ensure that infrastructure being built in communities is functional and practical for the citizens who reside there.

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues

“That is something that influences our decisions when we choose roads to be upgraded because if we are spending government’s money, we want to ensure that it can impact as many people as possible.

“The health and safety of people are taken into consideration,” Minister Rodrigues said.

The Minister also informed the residents that while infrastructural works are earmarked for these areas under AHUAP, contracts have been awarded for the upgrading of 1,100 community roads countrywide, including 13 roads in Providence, 24 in Herstelling, 20 in Peter’s Hall and other EBD housing schemes.

A resident raises her concern during the workshop

“We have some specific commitments that we made in the housing sector for 50,000 house lots and these are the new housing schemes, but we understand that we have to balance that commitment with the upgrading of our existing housing schemes as well,” she added.

The Women’s Safety Audit evaluates the safety of women in public spaces from the perspective of women, through engagement with women and other stakeholders in areas where infrastructure works are being carried out under the AHUAP. The results of the workshop will influence the design of infrastructure interventions in these areas.

A resident raising her concern during the workshop

Through the AHUAP initiative, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has allotted US$27 million ($5.4 billion) to execute projects in various parts of the country, including the construction of core homes and the upgrading of roads, drainage systems, and street lighting.