―I feel so happy I got my own home now and I’m comfortable by myself

― we care for our people irrespective of where you live

Melrose Bennett, a 23-year old mother of four children residing in the Sebai Village, in the Matarkai sub-District, Region 1, is elated to be the owner of a new three-bedroom home which was made possible through the Hinterland Sustainable Housing aimed at improving livability through sustainable housing and provision of proper infrastructure such as water and sanitation.

“I feel so happy about the house, I feel comfortable. I have four children and my husband and I was living with my mother. A whole set of us in a house. Nearly 20 of us in a small house. I feel so happy I got my own home now and I’m comfortable by myself,” Bennett told the Department of Public Information (DPI).news 201900603 10

Bennett, who is occupying the house for some months now, is one of 25 families in Sebai that received homes under the housing programme.

According to Minister of State, Dawn Hastings-Williams the project was launched in Sebai in 2016, where 15 families were chosen for full house construction and the construction of rooftops. The Minister, along with Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock and Regional Member of Parliament (MP), Richard Allen visited the village on Saturday.

The DPI also spoke to Wavney Benjamin who is occupying her house for almost two years. She has six children and her husband passed away six months ago.

Benjamin reflected on when she first received the keys to her new home. “It was a dream come through,” she said. “Where I was living, it wasn’t been nice, house been almost falling down and so when this thing came up, I felt so happy about it. I feel so happy about my home and I does try to take care of it.”

At the community meeting held at the Sebai Primary School, Minister Hastings -Williams who witnessed the selection process when she visited the project in 2016 commended the village for making full use of the homes provided to them.

“Since I visited then, I was amazed with how the beneficiaries were selected and I must say Sebai is close to my heart.”news 201900603 11

Minister Hastings-Williams explained that the project is part of the government’s strategy to provide safe and affordable housing to all of the citizens of Guyana.

“We are a caring Government, we care for our people irrespective of where you live, even if its in a small community, you are Guyanese, even if its in the city, you are still Guyanese. Whether you are an Indigenous person or not. That is why whatever opportunity is being made possible, it must be distributed equitably. everyone must benefit from what the government has to offer.”

Minister Allicock noted that apart from the housing programme, the government is looking to support community projects that will create jobs for the people of the community. He therefore urged the village council to develop a project and once viable, the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs will be willing to support.

“We have ministers across the country who are busily trying to make things happen for everyone to benefit, working towards a good life. the vision of the government is to develop a green state through a green economy. This does not only mean the colour green, but its things like agriculture, renewable energy and generally improving the standard of living for the people of this country.”

The minister handed over farming tools to the villagers and funding for purchasing planting seeds. The youths also received sports gears, and haversack, books and water bottle for the school children in need.

Through the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Affairs, over the last four years, the village benefitted from a boat and outboard engine, a tractor and trailer and the construction of a school kitchen. The village also received $1M this year for the clearing of 15 Miles of creek and to purchase a chainsaw, brush cutter, files and cutlasses.

The pilot, Hinterland Housing programme concluded in 2015 and due to its success, the government decided to have it continue until 2019 at a cost of US$3.1M, funded from the IDB. The Sum of $193M was allocated for the construction of the 17 houses and 15 roof replacements. To date, a total of six houses have been completed and fifteen roofs replaced in Region Nine under the second phase of the programme. When the project concludes, it is expected to benefit a total of 611 families in Regions One and Nine.