New look for Parfaite Harmonie
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Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal and staff of the ministry during a meeting with residents at the Bell West Primary School
Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal and staff of the ministry during a meeting with residents at the Bell West Primary School

— as IDB approves infrastructural projects worth $890M for community

ENHANCED roads, pavements, street lights and drainage networks are in line for La Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank of Demerara (WBD), as the Inter-American Development (IDB) has given its no-objection for the Government of Guyana to proceed with projects valuing $890 million.
This was disclosed by Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, during one of several housing outreaches on Wednesday, at villages along the West Coast and West Bank of Demerara corridors.

Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal and Head of Community Development at the Housing Ministry, Gladwin Charles, display a map of Anna Catherina and pinpoints areas where squatting issues will be addressed

According to Minister Croal, aside from the common infrastructural works, a multipurpose facility will also be constructed at La Parfaite Harmonie. All projects related to the community will be completed under the Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme.
In a breakdown of what is expected, the minister said that 8.8 kilometers of road will be upgraded with asphalt, and pavements will be constructed along the road for pedestrians.
Additionally, 25 families of La Parfaite Harmonie will benefit from core-home support and 118 will receive home improvement subsidies.
Meanwhile, Minister Croal told residents of La Parfaite Harmonie that the ministry is aware of the difficulties facing persons, with regards to the deplorable condition of internal roads in other surrounding communities, and representation was made.

Just last week, Minister Croal announced that Lust-en- Rust will benefit from a new water well, costing $115 million.
This, the minister said, will bring great ease to a number of communities, as the ministry seeks to also advance development in one of the “success stories” of a previous People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) administration, the La Parfaite Harmonie housing scheme.
Minister Croal reminded residents of the five years of neglect and lack of basic infrastructure, under the former A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Coalition administration.

PROGRAMME EXTENDED
La Parfaite Harmonie aside, progress is also expected in other communities, as the minister announced that the IDB has approved the extension of the Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme to Victoria, East Coast of Demerara (ECD).
Prior to this extension only low-income families who fell within the boundary – La Bonne Intention (LBI), Grove, Lust-en-Rust, Onderneeming, Recht-door-zee and La Parfaite Harmonie Phase Two, were able to benefit. Works under the IDB project could commence as early as July, and the Ministry of Housing and Water, through the executing agency, the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), will spare no time in tendering for these projects, Minister Croal said. Additionally, in other communities where the IDB’s project will not cover, he assured residents that works will be undertaken through collaborative efforts with the local authorities and the Ministries of Local Government and Regional Development, and Public Works.

In responding directly to announcements of the ministry’s plans for Region Three, Regional Chairman, Inshan Ayube, said that in the past few months, the region has seen significant development in its water supply, and almost 1,000 residents have taken a step closer to becoming first-time homeowners.
“In keeping with the policies of the government and in keeping with the promises made in our manifesto, we are pleased that we can work towards improving your way of life and delivering on our promises,” he said. The Regional Chairman further commended Minister Croal, who, he said, has been reaching out to the people of the region and bringing solutions to residents.
In highlighting other development works in the region, Ayube said several internal roads have been rehabilitated, drains have been cleared and canals excavated, to bring ease of access to farming communities.

ALL COMMUNITIES
“Development in the region is moving across all communities, including Essequibo River and the Demerara River and this is reflective of a commitment from your government…there is an improvement in all sectors, health, agriculture, housing, water, and infrastructure,” the Regional Chairman noted.
Meanwhile, Minister Croal said the outreach done on Wednesday reflects how the government operates, as it meets the people and formulate tangible solutions through a consultative process.
“We operate as one government, whatever we are doing is done in conjunction with the regional plans, and this is to ensure maximum output in the programme and policies which we implement to improve your day-to-day lives,” the minister said.
He added that the development seen across the region is a collective effort among the Ministries of Public Work, Local Government and Regional Development, Housing and Water, and the local Neighborhood Democratic Councils.

Alluding to the allocation of 1,000 house lots, which was done in December 2020, the minister noted that the construction sector in the region will see a massive boom, as the ministry, through the CH&PA, will commence infrastructural development in several new housing areas soon.
He, however, called on persons to be patient with all government agencies, as he explained that while the government is rolling out its programmes, no community will be neglected.
“Our developmental plans will be done incrementally but equally across this region and every other region,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, Minister Croal also called for persons to operate within the legal framework for obtaining residential house lots, as he noted that there is no need for squatting.
“There is absolutely no need for squatting, the government’s housing drive will make provision for every eligible housing applicant, and systems are in place for persons to utilise the right channel,” Minister Croal reasoned.

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