Region 10 Land Selection Committee still not in place

first_imgBy Utamu BelleWhile there have been talks over the past few months by Region 10 (Upper Demerara/Berbice) Chairman Renis Morian over the re-establishment of a Regional Land Selection Committee, to date there has been no notable advancement.The setting up of the committee formed part of the August 2012 Agreement signed between the Region and the previous Administration and was constituted under the stewardship of former Chairman Sharma Solomon.It was noted then that the committee would provide a platform for solving various land issues, by giving immediate relief to farmers and residents.While it was established by way of motion, Morian, after taking office had dubbed it a “rubber stamp”, owing to the fact that the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) was not an issuer of lands in the Region. As such, he had questioned the importance of such a committee.More recently, however, following the appointment of Minister within the Communities Ministry Valerie Adams Patterson, the regional chairman had expressed willingness in having the committee up and running. But months later, there has been no move forward, and during a statutory meeting of the RDC last week, Councillor Sandra Adams questioned the status of the committee.Adams explained that people in the region have been inquiring and she is running out of answers to give them. According to Adams, “there are a lot of land matters and confusion around the Region.”Morian then contended that since a new Land Commissioner was recently sworn-in, following consultations with him, he would move to have a Land and Housing Committee established for the Region.He had made similar utterances months ago at a statutory meeting where he had promised that the committee would be established by the time the next meeting was held.The Regional Chairman also alluded to the fact that there are numerous land issues plaguing the people of Region 10. Notably, during a recent visit by a team from the RDC to the Riverview community, a number of issues were brought to the fore, which caused residents to seek assistance. He added that the committee will now move to include an extension with housing, instead of land only.“I would have documented about 55 to 60 land issues, write them down and sent them to the Commissioner”, he stated. “We went to Riverview and recognised that the Amerindian lands, the map was redrawn to exclude about 300 yards from the river, because they were to be given to some private investor – legally redrawn. So, we got to go to the Commissioner to get that map to go back to where it was, that this land be given back to the indigenous people. I ain’t really wasting time. Now that we have a new Commissioner, I feel that it’s time for us to get the Land and Housing (Committee),” Morian stated.These matters, among others, the Regional Chairman said, would be put on the table when a visit is convened to the Land Commissioner:“One of the first things that we would want to do is to visit the Commissioner… and the Minister of Housing… so now we will have this committee functioning… I’ll tell you what, I didn’t able to sit on a committee pussy-footing all the time… the other thing that the council talked about is where to expand the boundary of the town… It’s a lot of matters,” he stated.Apart from land issues, communities in parts of Region 10, such as Linden are also faced with others involving housing, as was recently disclosed by Adams-Patterson. In January the Minister during a visit to the community outlined that there was “no available low cost house lots in Linden”.A number of problems regarding house lot allocation were also outlined.last_img