Over 400 Soesdyke-Timehri residents receive land leases

Set to receive steel, cement subsidies

Over 400 residents of Base Road, Timehri; Swan Turn,  Kuru Kururu, and surrounding communities on Monday received their land leasess, marking a significant step in formalising land ownership and contributing to community development.

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, along with Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy, distributed the land ownership document during a simple ceremony at Base Road, Timehri.

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali

President Ali acknowledged the challenges in regularising communities along the Soesdyke Highway  due to the diverse land uses, including residential, farming, mining, and tourism areas.

“There is no other land planning area globally that brings with it all of these complexities, and that is what we have to deal with.

Sometimes people believe this is a very simple exercise, but this is the complexity, and we are confronting this complexity in a way that is people-centred, where we can move you into value and improve your prospect of earning,” the head of state said.

The president also announced additional support for the beneficiaries, such as the steel and cement subsidy programme.

“Those of you who have to build wooden homes, we will help you with 900 bm [board measurement] of wood,” the president further announced.

Additionally, in the new week, Minister McCoy is expected to return to these communities with representatives from the Ministry of Housing and Water, and several commercial banks, to assist residents in securing loans.

With approximately 2300 squatters living along the Soesdyke-Timehri stretch, the president reaffirmed the government’s dedication to ensuring that these persons are able to have legal ownership of their lands.

He acknowledged that not all current settlements can be regularised due to various limitations. However, those residents will be offered alternative solutions, including housing options in nearby government-developed schemes.

For instance, the Ministry of Housing is developing 800 house lots at Hauraruni, Soesdyke, and according to President Ali, an additional 800 lots will be developed there for new squatters.

“So, we have 1600 lots that we are trying to develop at Hauraruni and with those 1600 lots we will get schools, water, roads, value to the lots that we will give you,” the president pledged. 

Meanwhile, the president pointed to the growing potential of the highway, with mega projects like Silica City lending tourism appeal and economic opportunities, attracting more people to the area.

This development is reflected in the exponential increase of applications for plots of land there.  

President Ali said the government has received over 15,000 applications for land on the highway over the last three years – an unprecedented feat.

Residents turned out at Timehri Base Road on Monday to receive their land titles

According to the head of state, this is only the beginning of a tremendous transformation for the region.

He said the massive infrastructural agenda sees enhanced connectivity through the expansion of the Mandela Highway.

Currently, the third phase of this project is undergoing evaluation, and will extend the four-lane road to Land of Canaan.

“We are already securing financing to take that road from Land of Canaan to the Soesdyke-Linden highway. And then the road is already on the verge of being awarded for the Soesdyke-Linden highway. So, you’ll have a brand new four lane highway. Imagine the lands that will be opened up,” the president said.