White Water residents get new homes

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President Donald Ramotar and Minister of Housing and Water Irfaan Ali join residents of White Water, Region One at one of the newly constructed houses under the hinterland housing project
President Donald Ramotar and Minister of Housing and Water Irfaan Ali join residents of White Water, Region One at one of the newly constructed houses under the hinterland housing project.

[www.inewsguyana.com]Twenty-three households in White Water, Region One received keys to their new homes while 27 others had their roofs refurbished under the Ministry of Housing and Water’s second Low Income Settlement Programme (LIS-2).

The $40M project was made possible through a collaborative effort of the Housing Ministry’s Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) after a study was conducted on the housing needs of the North West District village in 2009.

After the priorities were identified from the 2009 study, a design workshop was hosted the following year, where the building size specifications were defined.

The residents were then given autonomy to design the building of their choice, and it was discovered that the majority preferred wooden structures that were seven feet above ground level, with zinc roofs and patio. The involvement of the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs and the respective Amerindian Village Councils and residents of the pilot communities were integral to the success of the programme.

The efforts of the villagers were enough to spur Minister Ali to insist that they take into consideration forming a group, and requisition to undertake works in the community and the wider Mabaruma district.

Minister Ali was happy to report that the Housing Ministry has used up 85 percent of the second LIS loan, and that in White Water, over $37M has been invested to improve living conditions of residents.

A total of $200M has been budgeted for the hinterland housing programme and will add to the investments made to bring potable water to the hinterland. The homes handed over today for example have been designed to trap rain water.

“In the last five years we have invested more than $2.9B in the hinterland water system… this project will help us to achieve that because of the change in the roof material that can now help you in the easy collection of rain water,” Minister Ali said.

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