…claim to be acting on behalf of CH&PA
Six houses at Anna Catherina on the West Coast of Demerara (WCD) were destroyed on Friday afternoon after four armed men stormed the properties demanding that the families evacuate with their belongings.
When Inews visited the scene, the residents related that the men charged into their properties at about 13:00h and the ordeal lasted for more than an hour. It was explained that they have been living on the land for a few months now but the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) had informed them that they will have to move.
The residents said after explaining that they had nowhere to go, they were asked to file land applications and if the area is not allocated to be regularised, then they will get land elsewhere.
As such, they were shocked when the armed men entered the area on Friday and started to demolish the buildings. During the process, several pieces of equipment and tools were taken, while others were tossed onto the street.
One of the residents, Bibi Aleena Dhoray, explained that “two come in here with a sledgehammer and a crowbar and they start break from the back…Then they come here and the started breaking the bathroom, the kitchen sink, the shed…I had to beg them not to break the place because we have nowhere to go.”
The woman stated that her child was almost injured by a piece of wood that fell during the demolition exercise. She pleaded that they cannot afford another place to live.
“We don’t have nowhere to go. We come here and this is all that we have. They break the place and a wood fall on the bed and my children sleeping there. My husband had to bring the baby outside,” she stated.
Meanwhile, Dianna Bacchus said after the men started breaking the buildings, she asked them why they were demolishing the houses and were told that they are acting on behalf of CH&PA.
“I tell them that they can’t break the house. We never receive a notice or anything and they saying that they from Central Housing and Planning Authority and that we can’t live here.”
Adding to that, Nandalall Jodhan related that the men threw his belongings onto the roadway and carried away some of his tools and a generator. He was still counting his losses in distress.
“We hustling for somewhere to live. They didn’t send no notice or nothing. They come and break down the place and carry way all my tools, generator, everything. They throw out everything on the road, even the hammock that I does sleep in.”
Others who were affected were still contemplating their next move since they could not afford to go elsewhere. Some vacated the land and were staying with relatives.
“I get two sons and I can’t maintain rent money. I got to pay bills, look after the children and send them to school,” one man said.
Calls to the head of the CH&PA, Lelon Saul, for a comment on the issue, went unanswered.