Several East Berbice-Corentyne villages to benefit from new wells

Minister Croal commits to fixing housing issues in the region

Residents of several villages in East Berbice-Corentyne (Region 6) can expect relief within the coming months to issues that have been causing hardship to their daily lives when it comes to basic services.

During an outreach to the region on Saturday September 19, Minister of Housing and Water, the Hon. Collin Croal committed to a number of long, short, and medium-term interventions for issues raised by residents.

The meetings were held at West and East Canje and continued in the villages of Kilcoy and Belevedere. Later that day, the Minister engaged residents of Lesbeholden, Ankerville, Mibicuri, Yakusar, and Numbers 64, and 76 Village. Topping the list of complaints were the need for residential house lots, the level of service provided by Guyana Water Inc., the prolonged wait for titles and transports, deplorable roads, drainage infrastructure, and the lack of street lighting.

Speaking to the issues which fall under his Ministry, Minister Croal committed to having them fixed within the shortest possible time. In the coming weeks, the local NDCs will be compiling information on leakages from GWI mains to have repairs done. In instances where some of these communities are experiencing low level of services, assessments will be done to find the cause and possible solutions. In the long term, the villages Fyrish, Chesney, Belvedere, Ankerville and Lesbeholden Blackbush Polder can expect new wells and distribution network. Minister Croal also assured residents that the new management of the water company will be looking at ways to improve the customer relations response time to ensure better service.

Speaking directly to Housing, the Minister cited several deficiencies in the current system, all of which are being examined. Minister Croal also spoke of the Ministry’s aggressive housing drive which will see 10,000 serviced lots being distributed annually and the plan to distribute more than 2,000 titles in the coming months.

Minister Croal reiterates the Ministry’s zero tolerance policy for squatting, having been met with dozens of complaints about the issue in existing housing schemes and government reserves in the communities visited.

“The only way to be assured of getting a house lot from the Ministry is to apply; we will not be forced into regularising lands or giving a house lot because of squatting,”

the Minister stated. He assured residents that based on the scope of the new housing drive, every citizen who has an active application in the system will be served according to the year they applied.

Meanwhile, for the issues raised outside of Housing and Water sector, the Minster referred to the Budget measures which spoke directly to those matters. He highlighted that there provisions in the Budget for the rehabilitation of road networks across the country as well as allocation for solar street lights. In the agriculture sector, a number of measures are in place to address issues affecting farmers.

The Minister’s visit came as a follow up to Minister of Agriculture the Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha’s visit to the region where several housing and water issues were raised.