I am a member of a housing group in Yarrowkabra, which has been in existence for approximately 13 years now. We have faced and continue to face numerous challenges as the group membership continues to evolve – with members losing interest and the difficulty in transfer of ownership from one person to another. The constant cry from the members is the need for the basic necessities— water and electricity.
In June 2009, I wrote a ‘Letter to Editor’, which was published in most of the local print media, detailing our challenges in having land transferred from members in default to new members.
A that point in time, we had been in contact with Lands and Surveys officials and were told that in order for the requested transfers to be effected, the Lands and Surveys Department had to send letters to the defaulters, requesting that they indicate their interest or non-interest in retaining legal right to the land they had been allotted.
A six-month period was given in which they were required to respond, and then the letters had to be sent to the Office of the President for final approval.
In desperation, I had appealed, via my ‘Letter to the Editor’, to the then President of Guyana, President Bharrat Jagdeo, to look into this matter for us with a view of having it resolved. To date, the matter remains unresolved.
I am now appealing to His Excellency President Donald Ramotar to look into this matter for us and if the documents can be found, to approve our request for the transfer of house lots within our housing scheme.
Currently, three houses are complete and four are in work-in-progress stage.
The fact that after all these years we have still been unable to secure the basic utilities of water and electricity for our scheme has resulted a very slow rate of development and waning interests on the part of the members.
In 2011, one of our group members wrote a letter to the Honorable Prime Minister Samuel Hinds in an effort to get the Government to assist us regarding supply of electricity to the area. His response advised that he had passed our enquiry to GPL for an estimate to be prepared, after which he would meet with us. We never heard from him again.
We would like to hold the Honorable Prime Minister to his word, since it is now 2014 and three years have elapsed since his promise was made to us. I have been with this group from its inception and over the years, have invested quiet a lot of funds to keep it going.
Now, I don’t know what to do. As far as I am aware, this housing scheme is the only one of its kind in Yarrowkabra, and with proper development, would greatly enhance the area.
A few months ago, I wrote a letter to the Commissioner of Lands and Surveys in an effort to follow up on the process that begun in 2009. It is my understanding that most of the former staff are no longer there. In response to my letter, a gentleman called and informed me that there is no housing group in that area and that I should not try to sell land that does not belong to me.
At the time I received the call from the gentleman, I was not in the best of health and couldn’t respond to him as I should have, but I would now like to say to that gentleman that I have never tried and would never try to sell land that does not belong to me.
If I was a dishonest person, I would not have written to the Lands and Surveys Department and constantly publish letters in the newspapers for the general public to read.
I am trusting in the Lord that this time someone will take the time to help us straighten out this matter.
Yarrowkabra Housing Group
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