After some thirty years, the dispute over the western boundaries of the Annai District has finally been resolved, the Department of Public Information (DPI) said on Monday.
The issue came to a close following consultations between the residents, the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission. The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) also assisted in the process, DPI said.
For years, it said that the residents of communities in the Annai District, Region Nine, have been calling on Government to resolve the land problems, which hindered their community’s development.
Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Sydney Allicock, who visited the area on Friday, and met with leaders of Annai, Yakarinta and Aranaputa, Rupertee, Kwatamang, Wowetta, and Surama, said that, though there were many challenges, he is pleased with the outcome.
“The issue was never fixed and we found out through the technical people, that there was indeed a problem. Through discussions and actually going to the areas and walking on the lines, there was an agreement with an approach that will bring final answers to the western boundary” Allicock said.
Allicock told DPI that the communities can now move forward with their Village Improvement Plan (VIP), as they are aware of their respective boundaries.
“We wanted to bring this issue to an end and so we did. We want to assure the people that their lands will not be taken away from them and that there will be transparency and accountability,” Allicock said.
Adon Jacobus, Chairman of Aranaputa said that his village is happy to know that its boundaries have finally been settled. “Today we can see progress and things are finally happening, now we know our boundaries, we will now know where residents can take up residency, the decision was fair to all the communities and we can now move forward,” he said.
Anthony Andries, Chairman of the North Development District Development Board (NRDDB) also expressed gratitude to the government for addressing the matter, DPI said.
Andrews said that this issue had gone on far too long and, even though past leaders attempted to address it, the matter was never resolved.