Guyana Government preparing for court battle as it seeks to repossess lands

The Guyana government says it is prepared for court battles as it moves to repossess an estimated 5,000 acres of former sugar estate land at Wales, West Bank Demerara for housing.

“Now, we probably have to go, and you’ll have court battles, and we’ll make sure that we take back the land to develop housing,” Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, told a meeting at Patentia, West Bank Demerara.

“They gave a single individual to plant coconut trees, and they never even put down a baby coconut tree as yet,” he told the meeting.

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In November 2019, then Opposition Leader Jagdeo criticized the allocation of the land to the Amazonia Expert Services (AES) for coconut production based on his claim that no feasibility study had been conducted and that Guyanese should have been given the first opportunity.

“We’re making it clear now, that we’re not just going to take back these lands, but we are going to file legal action against some of these people for what they are doing now. This government has no legitimacy to give away – especially to foreigners,’ large tracts of lands, at this point of time,” he had said.

In 2019, the then David Granger-led coalition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) government, leased 700 acres of land at Wales to AES, whose principals are former executive director of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Agricultural Research Development Institute (CARDI), Dr Arlington Chesney and Grenadian economist, Dr. Patrick Antoine.

The company had announced plans to produce and export coconut water, dried and grated coconut to the Dominican Republic, and coir to the United States.

Jagdeo told the meeting over the weekend that the government is searching for land to allocate 14,000 house lots in Region Three (West Demerara-Essequibo Islands).

“Almost all of the lands on the upper part going from Uitvlugt is practically gone and private so we are trying to take back some of the land at Wales and other places that they gave to people, some of them 5,000 acres,” he said.

Jagdeo calculated those 5,000 acres of land could accommodate 20,000 house lots and is keeping with the 2020 election promise made by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) of allocating 50,000 house lots.



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