-Ministry representatives to meet with residents
By Ramona Luthi
Scores of Sophia squatters lined up in front of the Ministry of Housing on Monday morning baring pots, pans and kerosene stoves as they protested Government’s initiative to dismantle houses and businesses which were set up illegally in the Sophia, Greater Georgetown area.
At the scene, irate persons were heard threatening to be violent if their cries fell on deaf ears, while others explained to media operatives that they were prepared to accept anywhere that the Ministry decided to relocate them, for their families’ sake.
“This gon go far! Y’all nah gon like the outcome if y’all aint do something!” one furious woman with a pot and spoon in her hands shouted.
Another protester, identified as Jocyln Pickett told INews that she had applied for a land in 2005 and never received a response. She said that recently, she was given notice to remove from the area she has been occupying, however she has nowhere to go.
“I have children. I’m a single mother. I’m prepared to take any place they put me,” she explained.
Meanwhile, a representative of the Ministry, identified as the Community Organiser, Pastor Thomas met with the protesters and informed them that a meeting will be arranged with Ministry Officials and residents for 18:00hrs in Sophia on Monday.
“The Ministry has advised that the disgruntled folks fill out (land) forms and submit it and they will take it from there. They also have a meeting to give them more details this evening at 6,” he said.
Recently, the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) within the Ministry of Housing sought to destroy homes and businesses within the Sophia area that were squatting on Government Reserves.
However, while some of the houses were dismantled, the Sophia residents became infuriated and told the media that they were never informed of this initiative, nor were they given notice that their homes would be destroyed.
As such, an extension was granted for the respective persons to remove from the location on their own.