Robust enforcement programme to tackle squatting in Region Three

The government has once again issued a stern warning to individuals who persist in illegally occupying land, especially on river banks and near sea defences, announcing that it will be implementing a robust enforcement programme to address the issue across the region.

“Don’t believe that people can start occupying space or engage in squatting and that you will get our attention. No new squatting will be recognised Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal cautioned while speaking at an event in Region Three on Monday. 

To support these efforts, the housing ministry will be relocating its regional office to a more spacious location within the same compound as the Guyana Water Incorporated’s (GWI) office in Pouderoyen, West Bank Demerara.

Minister Croal said additional staff will be hired to assist in managing various housing projects in the region as well as enforcing regulations related to illegal land occupation. 

He explained that the government has been engaging squatters within the region.

As a result, some persons squatting in areas including Greenwich Park, Tuschen Plantation Uitvlugt, Stewartville Sideline Dam, and De Kinderen are undergoing the regularisation process.

“You have a compassionate and caring government so you have a lot of areas for example, along the railway line that we have committed to regularising. We want to ensure all those persons, that they are able to sign their agreements and that we are able to process ownership,” the minister stated.

According to him, while some of these households can be regularised, the ministry will need to relocate a number of individuals who are residing on government reserves.

Several persons at Cameron Dam and Canal Number One were relocated to developed housing schemes within the region. These persons also benefitted from the Steel and Cement Subsidy initiative and are moving ahead with the construction of their homes.

Addressing those persons squatting along the Parika Sea Dam, Minister Croal said, “the answer is no, so start thinking about a relocation process.”

The minister reiterated that the government’s national housing programme is designed to cater to the housing needs of all Guyanese, and therefore there is no need for anyone to resort to squatting.