[www.inewsguyana.com] – About fifty families at Zorg-en-Hoop, West Bank Berbice, are to be relocated to a safer area as they are currently living under very hazardous circumstances since their houses are directly under a 69KV power line.
This decision was made following a visit by the Minister responsible for Housing, Keith Scott to several housing schemes in Region #5 earlier in the week.
The families, who have been squatting for years on a reserve, live in small wooden houses surrounded by swamp and high bushes. They lack basic amenities such as electricity and water supply and proper drainage. There is also a nursery school nearby.
While in discussions with the residents, Minister Scott highlighted the dangers of unregulated squatting. He noted that the radiation from the power lines above their roof can affect the health and well-being of them and their children.
“It can even result in the loss of lives, if the wires were to fall on their homes,” Minister Scott pointed out.
When asked if they were willing to be relocated, the residents responded in the positive, noting that it is a good initiative, because they too understand the dangers under which they live. The officers were instructed to take the names of the residents and immediate steps will be taken to relocate them to the Balthyock area.
Minister Scott also visited Balthyock to have a firsthand look of what is needed to further develop the housing area. While the community is equipped with proper roads, there is need for electricity and better water supply.
“I’ve spoken to the residents and they were all very anxious for the opportunity to live in a place which they can only not call their own, but which will really be their home. We have identified an area for a playfield and even a Health Centre,” the Minister said.
He assured the residents that these areas will benefit from electricity, water and recreational facilities, in keeping with Government’s philosophy of creating cohesive communities. In the interim, he urged the residents to organize self-help groups and clean their surroundings. [Extracted and modified from GINA]