Govt to spend over $200M to regularise squatting area at Charity – Pres Ali

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President Dr Irfaan Ali addressing Charity residents during the land allocation exercise on Saturday

Dozens of squatters in Charity, Region Two, on Saturday received their certificates of title during the “Dream Realised” programme during which President Dr Irfaan Ali further committed that over $200 million will be spent to regularise the community.

In addition, he noted that work will start on 123 roads throughout the region by the end of the year.

The Head of State participated in the distribution of the certificates of titles to the residents at the Young Scholars Academy at Charity, Essequibo Coast. It was explained that out of 123 lots that can be regularised immediately, only 27 had fully paid their fees while 33 were yet to pay.

Accordingly, 27 persons received their titles on Saturday, while there will be a distribution for the remainder on Monday. It was explained by President Ali that the Government processed 60 titles in just four days.

“The remaining number of persons, the remaining 63 persons, out of the 123, we are ready for you to sign up and pay your fees so that you can get your title before the end of the year,” President Ali said.

He further explained the plans the Government has for their community and for the region as a whole. For one, he explained that over $200 million will be spent on regularising their community.

This includes the construction of a 40-foot-long concrete bridge linking Charity to an adjoining community, valued at some $35 million.

Another $120 million is expected to be spent on 2.5 kilometres of concrete roads between these two communities. An additional $20 million will be expended to bring water to the community, and another $20 million will be utilised to expand the electricity supply to the community’s ‘Red Rice’ area.

The President further assured the former squatters that they will be visited by bankers who will come to approve their home improvement loans. He noted that the Government has negotiated a special interest rate of just 3.9 per cent for these low-income loans.

Roads

President Ali meanwhile told them that having conducted an assessment of the region, they will be spending millions on roads in every community in the region. He made it clear that these roads are being built regardless of how communities voted, reminding that his Government is one that does not discriminate when it comes to State resources.

“In Charity, we are investing $4 billion in a huge, new water treatment plant for you here. Outside of all of that, we have identified 251 roads that have to be done in Region Two. We did an analysis of the entire region,” President Ali said.

“Every single community, regardless of how you look, feel or voted, all the roads in this region, every single community, has been placed on a list. And we have 251 roads to be done. We are earmarking, through supplementary provisions, resources to do 123 of these roads, commencing this year. Every community.”

Minister within the Housing and Water Ministry Susan Rodrigues, who was present at the event, assured those present that the Government will continue to deliver on its promises to them.

“We’re getting there, we’re getting more efficient and we will be able, through the Ministry of Housing and Water, to deliver on all of our promises by 2025. Every day you see a demonstration of our commitment to the work – delivering and actually putting in the work, hours and resources to deliver. And it is our honour to do so,” she said.

The former squatters turned homeowners were equally grateful. Tracy DaSilva extended thanks to the President, Ministers and all the technical staff who have been hard at work making sure they can process the certificates of titles. Paulette Owen, another recipient, also expressed thanks.

“I’m so happy that I’m here to receive this title. And I would like to congratulate Mr President for the good work that he’s doing. Even doing work in the canal, which I will be a part of. And I would like to say thank you,” she said.

Antonio Gonsalves, when called up to receive his title, lauded the efforts the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government has been making to address the issues closest to the hearts of ordinary Guyanese.

“I do hope y’all recognise the great effort that comrade Irfaan Ali and his team are doing for the people of this country. Now you can’t expect something to come, brap. Comrade Ali took his time, he did a draft plan to get things in order, so that we could get a better life. They are working hard to comfort us. And I hope you acknowledge and cherish, the work they are doing for us,” Gonsalves said.

Imandeen Mangar meanwhile admitted that she has been squatting for 30 years. She, therefore, noted that the title meant a lot to her, as she celebrated that she’s “no more a squatter today.”