May 9, 2022
Kaieteur News – Several persons are now homeless in Amelia’s Ward, Linden following an operation by the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA), to break down all structures that were on squatting lands where a road is expected to be constructed.The area, known as Third Phase Amelia’ Ward, is expected to be developed into a housing scheme. In a notice to the squatters, CHPA informed them that the demolition would have taken place on May 12th, 2022, however officials descended on the community with heavy-duty machinery and the police to execute the operation on Friday, six days before the deadline. “Cease and desist from all unauthorised developmental works and remove all encumbrances including wooden structures on or before 12th May, 2022”, the notice, signed by Secretary of the Central Housing and Planning Authority, Rajesh Ramgolam, said.
Approximately 10 structures were destroyed. One of the residents is said to be a victim of domestic violence and in her bid to escape the abusive relationship, constructed a wooden home, which was on Friday demolished. Efforts to build back the home were being made by a party of regional officials led by Member of Parliament Jermaine Figueira. When quizzed as to why the home was being constructed at the same location that is deemed squatting land and in conjunction with the Country and Planning Act, Article 20:01, he said there is no other land to construct at this juncture and the woman cannot be left in the rain.
Several of the residents whose houses or incomplete structures were not destroyed, were concerned about their investment and alleged that they purchased land from a member of the People’s Progressive Party, name given as Mr. Fraser, for the lands. At least one resident produced documentation for a land that he purchased from the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission and now is being deemed as squatting land. His structure was also destroyed.Meanwhile, in an invited comment to the media, Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal, said that notices were issued to the residents and that the structures are in the place where a road is to be constructed. He said some of the residents were warned to cease all construction, but failed to heed the warning and construction of concrete houses continued after the warning.
Regional Chairman Deron Adams in a statement said, he RDC
“The RDC stands in complete solidarity with the residents on this issue given these clear breaches of protocol as we call for a clear determination of what will be done for the affected residents before any further work is contemplated.” The Regional Chairman questioned why this exercise was carried out so very hurriedly on a holiday. “The deadline given for these residents to comply is clearly stated as May 12th, 2022, which has not even arrived as yet, but still the area has been bulldozed.”
The operation sent the Linden community in an uproar and scores of residents took to social media describing the act as unconscionable and inhuman. Many residents expressed the struggle to acquire a house lot even after applying for years. This frustration and the need for shelter have forced many residents to turn to squatting. The government has continuously called on residents to desist from squatting and to await the allocation of regularised house lots.