The first of a series of consultations by the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) began last evening with residents of North and South Sophia.
The Department of Public Information (DPI) said that the Government of Guyana in collaboration with the Inter-Development Bank (IDB) will be embarking on a series of Infrastructure and developmental projects under the ‘Road Network Upgrade and Expansion Programme’ in several communities in the North and South Sophia community.
DPI said that proposed works include construction of roads and sidewalks, installation of street lights, upgrades to community grounds and buildings and subsidies for the construction of core homes and home improvements projects.
Senior Community Development Officer attached to the CH&PA, Donell Bess-Bascom, told residents at the meeting, that the CH&PA is finalising the programme. She said that funds have been diverted from the Mandela/Sheriff Street project for the development of existing communities.
Bascom said one of the requirements of the IDB and the CH&PA is to intensify the community development approach.
According to Randolph Hunte, Engineer attached to the CH&PA, the project will see the construction and rehabilitation of 17 KM of new roads. Hunte disclosed that the project will see roads that link major hubs in the community; the playgrounds and health centres being rehabilitated in addition to Core Homes being constructed.
He added that the consultations are being held to ensure that the actual designs for the Core Homes are confirmed.
Community Development Director, Gladwin Charles said that the CH&PA is aware that residents are offended when everyone is lumped as residing in Sophia. He added that the CH&PA is working to have the street names corrected.
After being advised of what the projects entails, a number of concerns were raised by residents. In relation to squatting on the government’s reserve, several residents agreed that squatters need to be removed. One resident, Queen Isha Seepaul told the authorities that “unless proper drainage is in the communities none of the developments that you do would not make any sense.”
Calls were made for the Health Centre to be converted into a Cottage Hospital, DPI said.
Communities to benefit from the project include: Pattensen/Turkeyen (Section B), Turkeyen (Section C &D), Block X Liliendaal (Section A), Block AA &BB Sophia (Plum Park), Section C Cummings Lodge, Block E Sophia and Blocks F and R.