A total of 209 land titles were distributed to residents of Mount Sinai, New Amsterdam, during an exercise hosted at the Berbice Educational Institute (BEI) on Wednesday. The titles were handed over by Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency Joseph Harmon and Minister within the Ministry of Communities Annette Ferguson.
“You will see that the distribution of these titles has nothing to do with which political party you represent, this is a distribution of titles to deserving Guyanese…We’re on the right path…this is not the end because 209 out of 1010 [land titles] is still a far way to go,” Harmon told the gathering.
The distribution exercise is part of an overall Government programme to regularise the community and enhance residents’ quality of life. The Government has already provided infrastructure such as electricity and access to potable water and with the land title distribution, aims to ensure that safe, green spaces are provided for children.
“I would like to see, when I go back into that area again, the children are not playing football on the street; that the little boys are not liming at the sides of the street; that we can provide facilities that will help them to live and to play in safe spaces that a developed country like ours can provide… So the introduction of street lights and lights in the homes, the introduction of water, the development of roads in the community and the fact that we will have to have some other open spaces— parks where your children can play— becomes more important,” Harmon said.
Meanwhile, Minister Ferguson said the distribution exercise is the realisation of President David Granger’s vision to provide housing for all.
“The President has posited that his vision for housing will see a Guyana … where every citizen enjoys the right to housing … he speaks to the issue of reorientation, resources, regularisation and regionalisation… We see the first the coming together in this undertaking,” she noted.
Contrary to the misinformation being published in some sections of the media, Minister Ferguson said the Government never abandoned the issuing of house lots. “What we have embarked on is to provide a mixed housing solution … We are working to provide both house lots and housing units,” she said.
In an invited comment, Deborah Leitch said she has resided in the area for over 25 years and is grateful to finally have possession of her land title.
“Today I must say thank God. I would like to say thanks to the Housing Minister and members of the Government and other persons who would have made it possible, who would have helped me to acquire this title,” she said.
Another resident, Yvonne Mourant, said there have been many developments in the community over the past four years. “We have a lot of development because we got the water first, and then we got the lights and we are very much proud of it. We’re looking forward now to have drainage and the road,” she said.
Member of Parliament, East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six) Barbra Pilgrim; Deputy Mayor of New Amsterdam Wainwright McIntosh; Member of Parliament Donna Mattoo; Regional Executive Officer East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six) Kim Williams-Stephen and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) Lelon Saul also attended the ceremony.