Only 2 of 7 Mocha squatters take up Govt’s relocation offer

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Demolition of some of the structures at Mocha, EBD

Only two of the seven remaining squatters at the Mocha/Cane View area showed up at the Housing Ministry today to activate the process for them to receive compensation packages to relocate to a nearby housing development along the East Bank Demerara (EBD) corridor.

Following the demolition of the structures on the government reserves at Mocha/Cane View, which are in the path of the ongoing Eccles to Great Diamond four-lane Highway, four squatters had reached out to the Housing Ministry to get compensation packages.

However, only two of those persons turned up to the Ministry this morning.

According to Housing Minister Collin Croal, those two persons are being engaged. He added that the door is still open for the other five persons to follow suit.

This publication understands that of the two individuals who are engaging the Ministry, one person has signed an agreement for a land and financial compensation while the other person has asked for time to consult with their family.

Already, 28 persons have been relocated from the government reserves and some $256 million in compensation has been paid out to them, along with lands for farming.

However, seven persons remained on the reserves after rejecting government’s offer while making excessive demands totaling some $590M for properties valued at just $56M.

After several months of warnings and failed attempts to remove those persons, the Housing Ministry went ahead and demolished all the structures on the reserves on Thursday.

During this exercise, however, persons set an excavator on fire – a move which has been condemned by President Dr Irfaan Ali.

The Head of State said that the squatters, backed by the Opposition, are holding up the highway construction that will not only bring relief to commuters along the East Bank but also increase the value of properties in the area.

The President noted too that by relocating, government is giving these seven families the opportunity to have legally-owned house and land, which will secure their future.