Govt to embark on “completely green” luxury-style home settlement – Ali
The Guyana Government is set to embark on the first-ever wooden home settlement, geared at creating an ‘Amazonia’ feel and celebrating the ‘luxury of wood’.
Making this announcement on Wednesday was President Dr Irfaan Ali, who explained that the aim was to create a luxurious settlement of 50 wooden houses, a mixture of colonial and modern architecture.
“We intend to work on a specific project of wooden 50 homes going back to our colonial-style heritage mixed with modern architecture; building a first completely-green, eco-friendly, resort-style luxury housing using our local wood,” the President informed.
Construction for this project is set to begin in three months. Ali cleared up the misconception that wood was cheap, clarifying that it is made affordable in Guyana.
“This facility would not only have luxury homes made out of 100 per cent Guyana timber and labour, but will have trees from our forest planted within the community to give you a full luxury-style Amazonian living. This is another initiative [under] which we will promote our wood to those in the niche market of luxury,” he explained.
The President lauded a well-researched and developed policy on the forestry and construction sectors, which has led to several advantages and a rebound from what was inherited in 2020.
“We have had a very deliberate, well-structured, well-positioned, well-articulated, well-researched policy; forestry, housing and construction that policy has seen, or forestry as food; national assets are earning carbon credits, are earning from the work product itself, earning from eco-tourism. And now we are moving to more scientific areas of biodiversity and pharmaceutical values.”
“So, it is understanding the complexity of the product we have, positioning the complexity of that product, and this articulating a vision that meets the ambitions of what you want to achieve,” he declared.
Post 2015, several key players in the industry were forced to close operations. At that time, US$40 million was the export value. Ali said when the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government returned to office, exports had dropped to US$10 million.
“Absolutely no new investment in this sector for five years. One of the first things we did after listening to some of the players in the sector, we framed a new set of incentives to ignite the sector, to re-energise the sector.”
Despite this, external weather challenges and the pandemic-created disadvantages were countered with an investment of over $4 billion in hinterland infrastructure.
He pointed out, “As a result of all that we get since you came back in, production has now increased and recovered in 2022 – an increase in 2022 over 2021 by 50,000 cubic feet…The employment in the sector is back to over 20,000 persons. We have seen six new large-scale concessions, again, and most of them locally-owned companies.”
In 2023, a total of $54.5 billion has also been allocated by the Government in the national budget for housing developments in new and existing areas. This sum includes money to construct roads, drains, and bridges, and install utilities. (G12)