After 30 years, Great Diamond Squatters to finally get land titles

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After more than three decades, some 65 households of informal settlers are soon to be in possession of their own land titles.

This comes as the Central Housing & Planning Authority (CH&PA) finalizes the regularization of Blocks ‘B’ and ‘C’, being portions of Block ‘D’, in Plantation Great Diamond, East Bank Demerara.

Minister within the Ministry of Housing & Water, Susan Rodrigues made the announcement today, during a brief statement at the Ministry’s Headquarters.

“We have engaged the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited [NICIL] because that area is now under their purview…It was taken to the Board and they approved the transfer of that area from NICIL to the Government of Guyana and we will administer the issuance of those titles through the Central Housing and Planning Authority,” Minister Rodrigues said.

She further explained that transfer was greenlighted through a March 25, 2021 Cabinet decision and NICIL is in the process of preparing the legal framework.

The land was originally transported by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) Inc. to CH&PA vide Transport No. 302/2005 to begin the process of regularization. However, the regularization process was stalled following the discovery that a portion of Block ‘C’ was owned by the Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL).

Three informal settlers, who were occupying the land owned by DDL were since relocated to Prospect, East Bank Demerara last year, through a partnership between DDL and CH&PA. Minister Rodrigues noted that the relocated persons in Prospect are also to receive their land titles.

Since the new government took office, squatters had lamented their title ownership issue to Minister of Housing and Water, Collin D Croal during a number of his outreaches on the East Bank, as well as, Minister Rodrigues. Both Ministers had assured the residents that the situation would be met with swift resolution.