Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal, has revealed that the government is ramping up efforts to regularise informal settlements this year.
In an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Minister Croal stated that this initiative is a key component of the government’s ongoing regularisation programme.
“This year you will find us working aggressively to deal with several unregulated areas and irregular settlements,” he said.
The Minister mentioned areas along the Soesdyke highway that are being addressed following an intervention by President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali.
Other areas that will be targeted include Herstelling to Grove on the East Bank of Demerara which has over 341 informal settlers, as well as Success on the East Coast of Demerara.
Minister Croal explained that the regularisation process can include relocating persons living in areas that are intended for future expansion and development. In these cases, the government typically engages with the affected persons and assists them during the relocation process.
“For example, the recent incident at Cane View [Mocha] that was a [government] reserve and was always intended for future development.
“Our citizens have to be more responsible in how they are operating and what they do.”
He also highlighted the Ministry’s plans to strengthen the enforcement department and increase monitoring of public spaces. To achieve this, Minister Croal is calling on citizens and local authorities to assist in monitoring government reserves.
The overall goal is to provide safe and affordable housing for all citizens.