The Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission is working to make 1,700 acres of land available to residents of Mocha/Arcadia and before the end of the year they would be issuing 50-year leases, Commissioner Trevor Benn announced on Sunday.
During a community outreach at Mocha/Arcadia Community Centre Ground, Benn said some 320 lots would be made available for housing and agricultural purposes, while 58 larger plots of land would be made available to residents who are strictly involved in agriculture.
“We are going to make one-acre lands available to the residents so that you can live and farm. We want to bring that spirit back and that was a mandate given to me by the president,” he said.
According to Benn, the 1,700 acres had been given to persons outside of the community and were not being utilised. As a result, the leases were withdrawn
“There were 1,700 acres of lands aback this village that were allocated to four persons, none of whom lived in the community and so the government felt that this was not the right approach. We immediately took steps to cancel those leases and so those 1,700 acres became available and we decided to make it available to members of this community.”
Further, he said when the new government took office in 2015, community members pleaded with them to make lands available. He stated that residents felt they were not treated fairly on the allocation of lands, which they believe were ancestral lands.
Benn stated that the commission is currently surveying the lands and he is optimistic that they would be able to present the 50-year leases to resident before 2018.