Sophia welcomes $1.5B infrastructural project

─ works ongoing

─ community integrally involved in project

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, August 17, 2019

Community leaders of Sophia have commended the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) for the ongoing infrastructural works in the community. The $1.5Billion project forms part of the CH&PA’s Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility programme.The initiative aims to improve the quality of life for residents in the community.

The works include the construction of 12 kilometres of asphalt and concrete roads, 10 access bridges, culverts, concrete drains, sidewalks, streetlights, construction of two playfields, construction of 100 core homes while 300 homes are benefitting from improvement subsidies.

Clayton Hinds, Councillor of Constituency 5, Liliendaal, said “this project has the people of Sophia singing the Hallelujah Chorus! They are celebrating this project because before persons occupied these lands in an ad hoc manner. The developmental needs, infrastructural needs that were supposed to have been put in place to ensure these persons benefitted from proper roads and other facilities were not in place. So, now that this project has come on stream, the impact is already being felt by the residents,” Hinds explained.

Andrea Marks, a community representative for Constituency 6, Turkeyen/Cummings Lodge, said the community is one that has been neglected for years noting that in last four years, the improvement throughout the community is visible. “I am very pleased and happy the way things are unfolding in my community. If you look around Sophia you will see changes and people must recognise that for the past four years there has been a lot of changes in this area. I want to say to Housing, continue doing the good work. As leaders of this community, we will support you, we will work with you,” Marks stated.

CH&PA’s Deputy Director of Community Development, Donnell Bess-Bascom said the residents of the community are integrally involved in the project. Bess-Bascom indicated that throughout the programme, persons from the area are gainfully employed. She noted that 30% of the labour for the project is being sourced from the Sophia community.

According to Bess-Bascom, the agency meets with the residents monthly to update them on the progress of the ongoing work.

“We are also implementing the Livelihood Restoration Plan under this programme which looks at ensuring that persons whose livelihoods are affected as a result of the construction works are adequately planned for and compensated for the setbacks that they may have encountered. We are also rolling out a programme where we are notifying persons ahead of time of the impending impact of the construction works,” she outlined.

Plans for traffic management, access management, waste management, emergency preparedness and response are all implemented to minimise the effect of the works.

The project is currently being carried out by six contractors – S. Jagmohan Hardware Supplies and Construction Services, Shereaz Bcchus General Contractor, KP Jagdeo General Contractor, H. Nauth and Sons, Colin Talbot Contracting Services and Annirud Ramcharitar Contracting Firm.

The first phase will conclude on March 2020 with four of the six contracts slated to be completed in November of this year.

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