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Friday, June 16, 2006 

Relocation for some Mahaica farmers still in the works
Friday, June 16th 2006

The government has been considering the relocation of farmers in the upper reaches of the Mahaica Creek since early in the year and has a plan, which would be released at some point in the future.

According to information received by this newspaper on Wednesday, Minister of Housing and Water Shaik Baksh confirmed the existence of such a plan. "Yes, we have a relocation plan," Baksh said. At the time he noted that he was just speaking with persons from Mahaica in that regard.

Chairman of Region Five Harrinarine Baldeo said he knew President Bharrat Jagdeo mentioned the issue of relocation on his last visit to Mahaica recently. However, he said the issue was being handled directly by the Minister of Housing and Water.

According to reports from the Government Information Agency (GINA), during a visit to Joe Hook, Mahaica Creek area in February, President Jagdeo told residents he was looking at locations on the East Coast such as the Dochfour/Hope area, for relocation, which is now a priority. GINA said some 22 families placed their names on a list for relocation.

"We are looking at the Dochfour/Hope area to place the people in here who are affected but if not, we would develop an area to accommodate your house lots," Jagdeo had said. However, the area is not suitable for large-scale farming.

But Jagdeo had told them "even if we got you house lots at Dochfour/Hope, you could still cultivate the lands here."

The residents, GINA said, had told Jagdeo that they have information, which would allow them to rent private plots nearby.

© Stabroek News

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