Over 180 Cotton Tree residents receive land titles after waiting for decades 

Over 180 residents of Cotton Tree, West Coast Berbice (Region Five) received Certificates of Title, solidifying their legal ownership of lands they have occupied for decades, passed down through generations.

The land title documents were handed over by President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, along with Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC, at a simple ceremony at the Cotton Tree community centre ground.

His Excellency, President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali hands over a land title to a resident as the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall, SC and another official watches over the process

President Ali highlighted the ongoing effort by the government to complete more than 4,000 titles for residents in Cotton Tree and its surrounding areas.

Notably, President Ali emphasised that the entire cost of this extensive process, exceeding $100 million, has been fully covered by the government.

Acknowledging challenges faced in the process, President Ali assured the community that the government is actively working to address the shortage of land court judges.

His Excellency, President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali makes a point while addressing the audience in Berbice

He announced that the government is examining the possibility of engaging temporary judges to collaborate with the judiciary, implementing a mechanism to expedite the processing of all remaining land titles within the next six months.

The government will find the resources to finance this mechanism so that we can expedite this,” he underscored.

Furthermore, President Ali stated that the Attorney General will be examining the existing backlog within the land court system to extend the established mechanism to residents who are eagerly awaiting judgements at the land court.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall, SC. addressing the audience in Berbice

He said the Attorney General will be examining the backlog in the land court system so that this mechanism can be extended to the residents.

The president underscored the significance of land ownership, emphasising its impact on economic and financial empowerment.

“This process will allow the empowerment for families, the ability for wealth creation and build prosperity for families,” he said.

This initiative is part of the government’s national land regularisation programme spearheaded by the Ministry of Legal Affairs in conjunction with the Office of the President and the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission.

Meanwhile, several areas are being regularised under the Ministry of Housing and Water.

President Ali said ongoing efforts are in progress to regularise all outstanding areas in Region Five within the next eight weeks. This includes areas such as Shieldstown and Bushlot, where 166 households are slated to receive their titles.

This now allows for a swift and smooth operation in the expansion of the infrastructure in your communities,” he said, stating that more than $3 billion is being invested in infrastructure in areas such as Sheildstown, Balthyock and Burma.

Meanwhile, highlighting the arduous nature of the regularisation process, the Attorney General explained that the land titling process, which commenced in 2011, was halted during the tenure of the coalition government.

Members of the audience

However, the initiative recommenced under the current administration led by President Ali, reaching the pivotal point where individuals can now obtain their land titles.

As part of the national land regularization programme, the Attorney general said that in addition to the 3000 persons to get land titles in Cotton Tree, an ongoing effort in No. 46 village is set to grant titles to over 300 families, Mon Choisi, 300 families, Everton 320 families, Number 5 (Zeelust Village) 400 families, and over 300 families in Number 7 village.

In Bath Settlement, more than 60 titles have been distributed to sugar workers, following agreements of sale from GUYSUCO spanning nearly three decades. The initiative extends to Enterprise on the East Coast Demerara, where several individuals have received titles.

Moreover, in De Kendren, West Coast Demerara, 60 titles were awarded to sugar workers. Through a collaboration with the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission (GLSC) and the Ministry of Housing and Water, efforts are underway to facilitate the issuance of 450 titles to families in Ann’s Grove and Dutchfore villages.

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