Residents of Tuschen to Good Hope want their lands regularised

Dear Editor,

I read with great interest and pleasure of the recent issuance of land titles to residents of Bare Root by this current government after years of requesting same.

Whilst I’m not sure of which ministry or minister I need to contact to make a similar request, I will be grateful if I can use your newspaper as a medium to reach out to the Government official/minster whose portfolio such requests may fall under. 

Residents occupying the “railway line” (that is north of the public road) between Tuschen to Good Hope on the East Bank of Essequibo have for many, many years been requesting to have their lands surveyed and regularised so that they can have a chance to get land titles for the lands they are occupying for residential and commercial purposes.

A majority of these residents have been occupying or “squatting” on these lands for over 30 to 40 years  and have reached out to their respective NDCs and to an extent the former PPP/C Government for land titles. Sometime between 2006-2010, former PPP/C National Director of Community Development Councils, Mrs Philomena Sahoye-Shury instructed surveyors to measure each resident’s land that they were occupying, marked their “lot” number on their fences and promised to get started on the issuing of the titles or lease. We never heard back from her nor has anything been done since. We all have “lot” numbers on our fences/houses but no title for our lands. 

We all have water and GPL connections. We keep our lands clean and the drainage clear. Most of us have invested heavily on our residential and commercial properties. But we are still anxiously awaiting our land titles, as a land title is a way of reassuring us that the lands we are occupying are truly ours and we are secured from any eviction in the future. We are fed up being called squatters. We want to be owners of our land. We want to contribute to paying  rates and taxes so that our NDC can properly maintain our villages. For us, these are the only homes we have. We have struggled to clear the bushes and full up the land with dirt to prevent flooding so that we can build our homes. We have invested so much but yet if we want to approach any bank for a loan we do not have a land title to securing that loan. 

We invite the Ministers responsible to visit any of these villages between Tuschen to Good Hope: Tuschen, Vergenoegen,  Philadelphia, Barnwell, Greenwich Park, Good Hope.

Honourable Ministers, you will see the pride us “squatters” have in our living surroundings. You will see booming businesses and beautiful houses. 

Please, we welcome you to take a walkabout and listen to our concerns regarding this matter.

Thanking you in advance.

Yours faithfully,

Anna Singh

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