Great Diamond squatters to finally get land titles

30 years later

Minister within the Housing and Water Ministry, Susan Rodrigues

After more than three decades, some 65 households of informal settlers are soon to be in possession of their own land titles.
This comes as the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) finalises the regularisation of Blocks B and C, being portions of Block D, in Plantation Great Diamond, East Bank Demerara (EBD).
Minister within the Housing and Water Ministry, Susan Rodrigues made the announcement on Wednesday, during a brief statement at the ministry’s headquarters.
“We have engaged the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited [NICIL] because that area is now under their purview… It was taken to the Board and they approved the transfer of that area from NICIL to the Government of Guyana and we will administer the issuance of those titles through the Central Housing and Planning Authority,” Minister Rodrigues said.
She further explained that the transfer was greenlighted through a March 25, 2021 Cabinet decision and NICIL is in the process of preparing the legal framework.
The land was originally transferred from the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) Inc to CH&PA vide Transport No 302/2005 to begin the process of regularisation. However, the regularisation process was stalled following the discovery that a portion of Block C was owned by the Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL).
Three informal settlers who were occupying the land owned by DDL were since relocated to Prospect, EBD last year, through a partnership between DDL and CH&PA. Minister Rodrigues noted that the relocated persons in Prospect are also to receive their land titles.
Since the new Government took office, squatters had lamented their title ownership issue to Housing and Water Minister Collin Croal during a number of his outreaches on the East Bank as well as Minister Rodrigues. Both Ministers had assured those affected that the situation would be met with swift resolution.