Ten families who are squatting on lands at the Zeelugt Sideline Dam in Region Three have been allocated house lots in the new Stewartville Housing Scheme.
The allocations were done at the scheme on Sunday by a team from the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) including Director of Community Development, Mr. Gladwin Charles, Regional Housing Officer, Ms. O’Shanna Miggins and other technical staff.
It is in keeping with a commitment made by the Minister of Housing and Water, Hon. Collin Croal during an outreach earlier in the month. The Minister at the time assured residents that the agency is working to fast-track relocation and regularization in informal settlements across the region. During Sunday’s exercise, Mr. Charles noted that the area occupied by the informal settlers is nearby the community’s primary school and as such poses a number of issues. The relocation is therefore expected to improve the environs of Zeelugt, while also improving the living conditions of the squatters.
For husband and father of two, Mr. Amos Calistro the land provides a better environment to nurture his two young children. Mr. Calistro said, “it make me proud because me daughter them living in squatting area and the place nasty”. He also noted that the area poses a risk to their health.
“I’m happy for the piece of land that we get, at least we gon make much of it,” expressed Ms. Ishwar Saytoo, who stated that her family has been squatting in the area for several years. The family is now looking forward to constructing their home in Stewartville.
Single father, Mr. Roopnauth Jaggernauth also noted his satisfaction with the agency’s intervention as he is also now in a better position to provide safer shelter for his daughter.
The housing scheme is already equipped with first-phase infrastructure and utilities such as roads, drainage networks and water.
After selecting their house lots, the informal settlers were issued with their allocation letters and guided by CHPA’s Surveys Unit on a lot identification exercise.
A total of thirteen persons are squatting in the area, however, the other three persons have already been allocated house lots in Stewartville and other nearby schemes.
The Community Development Department will continue to provide guidance and support to the families during the relocation and resettlement process.
Photos: Sydel Thomas CHPA PR Department