Approximately 80 families at Zeelugt, East Bank Essequibo,will receive certificates of title for their land within three months, as part of the PPP/C Government’s comprehensive housing programme.
This was related to them by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, during a meeting there on Friday afternoon. He said the matter goes back to 1997 when the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) issued a block of land to the Sugar Industry Labour Welfare Fund.
“The Sugar Welfare Fund was established several decades ago. Its principal purpose was to create an institution that would help the sugar workers move originally from the logies in the plantation to villages, and it has continued since then to assist in getting sugar workers homesteads from lands given by GuySuCo.”
Another block, he explained, was issued in 2001, but similarly, the matter did not culminate in the granting of title. Minister Nandlall and Minister of Housing and Water, Colin Croal, visited the community after a concerned resident wrote letters to the government seeking a resolution to the issue.
“The real genesis of that letter is that the community here, focusing on Zeelugt one, and I understand there is phase two, is the issue of ownership of your land,” MinisterCroal said.
Minister Nandlall apologised to residents for the delay in the processing of their titles and explained the process the government will take to regularise their ownership.
The response by the ministers, he noted, is a demonstration of the responsible type of governance the PPP/C promised during its elections campaign.
“We now have to move the title from the Sugar Welfare Fund. They have the bulk, the big title. We now have to sub-divide it, and we have all the plans already drawn. All of your lands are on this plan, drawn out already.”
“One of the stumbling blocks is to get GuySuCo to obtain compliance from the GRA. That is a problem. Well, we will work out that. You don’t worry about that.” By January, we should be coming back here with approximately over 80 odd titles so that 80 families, 80 families in the two phases will eventually receive their certificate of title for their lands.”
He told residents the Land Registry will be working with the Sugar Industry Labour Welfare Fund to process the titles. Residents were given the opportunity to make changes to the names under which the titles would be granted, for example, in the case of a death, if need be.
The ministers also addressed other issues raised by the residents.