In a news broadcast aired on December 18, 2017, I heard the Commissioner of Lands and Surveys Department speaking about the situation of defaulting land owners, and the department’s plan to reclaim lands from defaulters, especially since many of them have been in possession of lands for over ten years, with which they have done nothing. It was heartening to hear that things will be put in place to correct this deficiency, especially since as President of a housing development group in Yarrowkabra which was formed in 1998, I have been enquiring for several months now from the Lands and Surveys Department, about reclaiming land from defaulters within my group, so that other interested persons can purchase those lots. However, nothing has come out of my efforts in this regard.
I had spoken to Ms Carol Khan, an employee of the Lands and Surveys Department, who had taken the time to explain the process in place for reclaiming land from defaulters. She explained that only part of the process is completed at Lands and Surveys; after they have dealt with the requisite documentation it is sent over to the Ministry of the Presidency, where it is approved, signed off, and then returned to Lands and Surveys. Even though the process sounded fairly uncomplicated to my layman’s ear, Ms Khan cautioned that there is a considerable lapse of time before the approved documents are returned to Lands and Surveys.
I am disheartened by the fact that this slothful approach continues to persist. There are persons who are ready to take up defaulters’ land and build homes to continue the development of our housing project, but can do nothing but wait for the Ministry of the Presidency to return the documents to the Lands and Surveys Department, with the requisite approvals. The members of our Housing Group are very concerned at the seemingly nonchalant manner in which this issue is being addressed.
I must commend however, our first Vice President, Mr Moses Nagamootoo, and the Minister of Public Infrastructure, Mr David Patterson, for all the help our Housing Group has received with their intervention. For many years prior to APNU+AFC taking office, we appealed to the PPP/C government for basic utilities, to no avail, but today, we are in a much better place than we were two years ago. Vice President Nagamootoo has helped our group in so many ways, words cannot express our gratitude to him.
Also, a special ‘thank you’ to Minister David Patterson, for the electricity that was installed in Yarrowkabra. We now have electricity in our homes and are extremely grateful for that. We are now seeking to have some street lights to improve the security of our area, and would be happy if this aspect of work could be included in the programme, if it is not already part of the project. I also take this opportunity to request the Minister’s intervention to have some more roads in the area, and potable water, which is already in Yarrowkabra, but not yet in our scheme or section of the housing group.
Yarrowkabra Housing Group