Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 17, 2022 (SKNIS): Residents living at La Guerite Extension are one step closer to being landowners following the commencement of stages one to three of the Squatters Regularization Project.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Elreter Simpson-Browne said that the ministry, through the Department of Land and Surveys, has commenced the regularization exercise at La Guerite North as part of the ministry’s first quarter of 2022 work programme.
“As we would have indicated, La Guerite Village as we know it is currently a squatter settlement which began as peasant farmers but morphed into an unregulated community. As such this area does not have the amenities requisite for comfortable living as other communities such as paved roads and properly installed infrastructure such as water, electricity, cable TV and internet. To improve the standard of living of persons in this community, the Ministry of Sustainable Development has decided to strategically formalize this area with a view to allowing the occupants security of tenure,” the permanent secretary stated.
PS Simpson-Browne noted that there are nine stages involved in this regularization process.
In stage one, the ministry submitted an application with the proposed improvement for the community to the Development Control and Planning Board (DCPB) for review, and this stage has been accomplished having been granted the approval. In stage two, surveyors from the Department of Lands and Surveys, under the leadership of Director Dwight Francis, are executing the approved plan with a view of widening the roads and formalizing the parcel boundaries. Stage three will follow thereafter, where the ministry will be asking some residents to adjust their fence lines to the established boundaries to assist with the cutting of the newly established roadways.
“The Ministry is seeking the cooperation of all residents of La Guerite North to be accommodating to the surveyors and staff of the Department of Land and Surveys as they conduct their work. The surveyors will need access to some property to establish the new boundaries. Once these boundary monuments have been established, residents are asked not to remove them,” said Mrs. Simpson-Browne. “However, once the new boundaries have been finalized, residents will be asked to begin making preparations to align their fence to this new location. The Ministry is appealing to the residents to help us to make the area a more comfortable housing development for all residents of La Guerite Village.”
Director of Lands and Surveys, Dwight Francis, outlined the additional six stages which include the cutting of roadways; installation of potable water network to supply adequate water to all families in the community; the installation of a new electricity network to ensure that all homes can enjoy a reliable supply; paving of all roadways to ensure a smooth flow of traffic within the community; the sale of the lands in the community to the current occupants at a concessionary rate, and the preparation of individual survey documents for the current occupants based on the new development layout.
The Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett, Minister of Health et al. and Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher #3 noted that she is quite pleased that the commitments made in 2021 are coming to fruition.
“The government is about meeting its commitment to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis and this stands as testament to the compassionate and caring nature of the Team Unity Administration,” said Minister Byron-Nisbett. “I strongly encourage the beneficiaries to live up to their obligations and capitalize on the numerous benefits that these multigenerational assets offer.”
In 2021, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, through the Ministry of Sustainable Development, decided to offer discounted land rates, interest-free, to approximately 90 residents who reside on properties at La Guerite Extension without title, right or lease.