New Soesdyke-Timehri landowners prepared to chart course for brighter future

For over 400 families along the Soesdyke-Timehri highway, years of uncertainty have come to a joyous end. After a long-awaited process, they officially received their land leases in a ceremony held on Monday at Base Road Timehri.

Those who received leases are residents of Timehri, Kuru Kuru, Waiakabra, Banakari (Long Creek), Loo Creek, Laluni and Moblissa.

Alexandrea DeAbreu

The Department of Public Information (DPI) captured the reactions of some of these persons, who gushed at the novelty of having legal ownership of lands they have been occupying for years.

With the lease secured, Alexandrea DeAbreu, from Banakari, looks forward to building a brighter future for her children, thanks to the increased stability and opportunity.

“This is the first time I collected a lease. I own a piece of land for myself, I would like to say a big thanks to the government for it because it’s something really good for me,” she said.

Armela Sukhlall

An emotional Armela Sukhlall, who has been waiting for 10 years, said she was emotional when she first got the news that she would be granted her land lease.

“When I got the call, I started to cry. My husband asked me why I was crying. I said I was happy because I always wanted this day to come. Because I have a big heart, I always want to do more,” she said.

For Neil McPhoy, receiving this document has given him a ‘new lease on life’, as he sees a rapid transformation stemming from this.

Neil McPhoy

The new lease owner of a Laluni property said he has big plans for establishing a farm on his property and is now ready to put these into motion and expand his economic prospects.

“This is leverage. This is an empowerment and I’m glad for the opportunity that I can use this. I have a business plan already that I did several years ago for a chicken farm and other types of farming that I’m going to do up there and it’s definitely going to change my life significantly.

“With all the plans and systems in place to support lease owners, I’m going to take full advantage of it,” he told DPI.

Kathy Alfred

Meanwhile, Vice Chairman of Tiger Bone, Banakari, Kathy Alfred, applauded intervention in regularising these areas. She has been advocating for leases for her residents for some 13 years.

She is elated to finally see the family receiving legal ownership documents for their lands.

“I’m very much overjoyed because it wasn’t easy to go behind this land issue. And, we were promised by our government that they will look into that issue and the people will receive their lots. And now this is a happy time for us,” Alfred expressed.

The distribution of these land leases marks a turning point for these families. With secure roots, these communities are now poised to flourish, leaving a lasting impact on the landscape and their futures.