The Ministry of Housing and Water, through the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), is working to regularise an informal settlement located in Mocha/Arcadia, East Bank Demerara (EBD).
On Tuesday afternoon, Collin Croal, the Minister of Housing and Water, along with Sonia Parag, the Minister of Public Service, met with the residents to address the issue.
The land in question comprises five fields and falls under the purview of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).
Minister Croal stated that his Ministry would engage GuySuCo to transfer the land. Once this acquisition process is completed, the agency can then move forward with the regularisation process, and residents can be granted legal ownership of the land.
Both Ministers have been engaging residents on the matter for some time. In November 2022, CH&PA conducted an inventory and recorded 357 occupied and unoccupied structures in the area.
While outlining the regularisation plan, the Minister stated that the three fields, which are densely populated, will be regularised.
Those residing outside of the three fields will be moved within the designated alignment. Additionally, a number of persons who fall within the buffer zone of the four-lane highway will be moved further inward.
He emphasised that the government’s intention is not to displace individuals but to facilitate a structured process and that the Housing Ministry is committed to working closely with residents throughout each step.
As such, a team from the Ministry will continue engaging residents and monitoring the area. The Minister urged all persons to work with the agency.
He also called upon them to discourage others from squatting in the area, as this will prolong the process, and report the construction of additional structures.
“The government is committing to working with you, but this process can’t move quickly if you don’t hold your end of the bargain,” said Minister Croal.
Minister Parag shared similar sentiments as she noted the government’s inclusive growth and development agenda. The Ministers also listened to and addressed concerns raised by residents at the meeting.