Eviction from private property: Govt to expedite land applications for Sarah Johanna squatters

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Minister McCoy engaging a resident on Sunday evening

Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy, and a team visited Sarah Johanna, East Bank Demerara on Sunday where he assured them that in light of the recent developments, their land applications will be fast-tracked.

Several houses were demolished by the owner of a private property that was occupied by squatters after years of court battles.

During the meeting, McCoy told the displaced residents that the Housing and Water Ministry in collaboration with the Human Services and Social Security Ministry is working to resolve the issue by fast-tracking the application process for those persons whose names have initially been recorded in the system.

“We will treat everyone, but more so we will treat those who face a much more dire situation and that is a part of the original list in an advanced way while we treat the others at the same time,” he stated whilst then adding that the residents should patiently work with the government to bring about the best-desired outcome.

“Let us not be mischievous. Let us not be provocative. Just be positive about the situation,” he encouraged the residents.

Meanwhile, McCoy explained the swift fast tracking of land, explaining that it is quite a rigorous process to give out lands as lots of works precede it.

“There are some people who would have already been part of the process of activating the application through the Ministry of Housing and Water for land. we will continue that process as of now to get your lands as quickly as possible. You understand? We are developing thousands of lots across this country.”

He added, “It takes time to develop. It’s not easy. You have to survey the lands, you have to put in infrastructure, you have to grade out roads, you have to define different parts of the community,” he stressed.

Additionally, he expressed that though many residents are displaced, they will be provided with their essential needs and shelter.

“We will take care of the families who have been displaced with other interventions to make sure that we can get them at least in a situation where they have food and water and so forth.”

Kwame noted that this arrangement to provide them with assistance will be done swiftly. Through the collaborative efforts of the ministries, a check-in with all families daily will be done for the various things that the government intends to do.

McCoy noted that everyone is deserving of an intervention that will be able to help the residents out of this situation into a better one. He states that is the main reason why the team is here; to mitigate issues in that residents’ face.

The demolition of the squatting settlements was done in compliance with a High Court order obtained by the landowner.

It was reported that the bailiffs and police on Saturday dismantled seven homes that were erected on private property.