THE National Assembly on Tuesday approved a sum of $72.2 billion for the Ministry of Housing and Water to carry out its mandate for the year 2023.
This sum was approved after the National Assembly went into the Committee of Supply for day two of consideration of 2023 budgetary estimates.
During this process, Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal noted that some $54 billion was approved for the housing sector and of that sum, $50 million was set aside for infrastructural works including roads, bridges, water-distribution systems, electrical works and land preparation in new and existing housing schemes.
To this end, he noted that several areas will benefit from these intended infrastructural works such as, Meten-Meer-Zorg, Stewartville, Leonora, Non Pareil, Hope, Success, Enterprise, Great Diamond, Burma, Shieldstown, Palmyra, Mabaruma, Wales, Lusignan, Good Hope, Bartica Amelia’s Ward, Buxton/St. Joseph, Wakenaam, Charity, Chateau Margot, Sophia, and Number 75 Village.
Minister Croal related that $1 billion has been allocated for construction of the first 100 homes in the new Silica City, located along the Soesdyke-Linden Highway.
It was then that opposition Member of Parliament Annette Ferguson asked the minister whether low-income earners will be able to access lands in these areas, inclusive of Silica City.
Minister Croal said in response: “The entire Soesdyke Highway is being addressed and will be available for all categories of applicants.”
He further said that infrastructural works will be conducted in Charity, Patentia, Uitvlugt, Tuschen, Soesdyke, Chateau Margot, Sophia, Cummings Lodge, Plantation Belvedere and Amelia’s Ward, with the aim of regularising some 1,218 lots.
The sum of $10 million will be invested in each community, with an additional $10 million for utility services.
The Housing Minister further informed the committee that $7.3 billion will go towards the continuation of the Eccles to Diamond highway, as well as an additional $5.4 billion for the Schoonord to Crane four-lane highway.
Additionally, a total of $467.5 million was also approved for the construction of a new housing office in the vicinity of Houston.
Meanwhile, $17.7 billion was approved for water expansion and management of the sector, with $1.4 billion going towards upgrading and extending water-supply systems in hinterland communities across Regions One, Two, Seven, Eight, and Nine.
Upgrades will also be effected to water-transmission systems in areas such as Pouderoyen, Vergenoegen, La Parfaite Harmonie, Caledonia, and Cummings Lodge to ensure that residents have access to a reliable and consistent supply of clean water.