Georgetown, Guyana – (February 23, 2019) Two hundred residents of Coomacka Mines, Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region 10), yesterday, received land allocation letters for the lands which they have been occupying for approximately six decades. Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon who presented the letters to the residents, noted that the government of Guyana will continue its efforts to ensure that sustainable, family-oriented communities are created across the country.
The document offer the residents ownership of the land they have been residing on and will pave the way for titles to be issued once surveys are completed. This is the first time the residents are receiving legal documentation for the occupied lands.
Minister Harmon told the residents that they had been neglected for far too long, but the David Granger-led government believes in empowering residents and communities.
Now that the land allocation letters have been issued, surveys have to be carried out after which titles to the lands will be issued. It is expected that the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), under which the lands are administered, will complete the requisite surveys within the next few weeks.
“There are some survey works to be done on the lands and I have asked NICIL to complete this work in six weeks so that we can begin the process of you having your titles. These letters will then be presented to NICIL and they will come and do the survey and based on that, you will get your titles. What we are doing here today is to help you improve your quality of life because if you want to go to the bank to do your house or do something to improve your life, you will now have a piece of paper that can show ownership. It is about giving power to you so that you can make decisions for you, your family and your community,” Minister Harmon said.
The residents, thanked President David Granger and his government for taking such a positive step on their behalf.
Ms. Jean Wagner, a senior resident of the community, said she has been occupying her land for over 60 years but was never given the opportunity to acquire ownership. Ms. Wagner thanked the Government immensely.
Ms. Bernadette Torres, a health worker, said, “I am feeling very happy today receiving this paper because I have waited over 15 years for this. This is something special for me and this entire community and now I have something that I can leave for my children and grand-children. I would like to thank the Government for this initiative.”
Similarly, Ms. Wendy Wagner, a teacher, said she has been waiting since 2005 when the last survey was done in the area. “Today, I am really happy that this process is continuing because it tells me that we are finally heading somewhere and we are progressing. As a resident, I am proud of that and I want say thanks to Minister Harmon and the Government at large because we are very happy that we haven’t been forgotten,” Ms. Wagner expressed.
Ms. Shenelly Brimmer, said having this document will empower residents to improve their quality of life. “I have been waiting for quite some years and I am so happy and proud and it is not just me, but every resident you see here. We can finally start the process of improving our lives. I would like to thank Government for moving this process forward and giving us the opportunity to have a document for our lands in our hands,” she said.
Meanwhile, Minister Harmon also presented lamps to the communities of Mackenzie and Speightland, which are to be used for street lights. The lights are to be installed by the Regional Administration. He also committed to provide the teachers of the Mackenzie Primary School with a much-needed fridge and gas stove.