CH&PA begins demolition to remove squatters from Sophia reserves

Agatha Valentine’s daughter and grandchildren stand guard over their bridge, part of which they dismantled to save their home from being torn down. (Photo by Keno George)

The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) yesterday demolished almost two dozen structures on the government reserve in ‘A’ Field, Sophia, during an exercise that was brought to a premature end after a confrontation with squatters, some of whom claimed they had not received any notice to move.

The demolition exercise is to target structures that were illegally built on the government reserves in ‘A’  Field and ‘B’  Field, in preparation for the execution of community development works under the US$30 million ‘Road Network Upgrade and Expansion Programme.’

At around 8 am, the CH&PA demolition team,  along with staff from the sister agencies and police began the exercise. While it got off to a smooth start, the team was met with resistance as it proceeded to the southern end of ‘A’ Field. One family formed a human barricade and even dismantled part of their bridge to prevent the team from accessing their home. A few others wept and begged for their homes not to be torn down…..

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