The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) noted that as of yesterday, five former Success, East Coast Demerara, squatters have taken temporary shelter at the Graham’s Hall Primary School, Cummings Lodge.
Three males and two females have taken up occupancy as more squatters are finally making the move to be housed, the CDC said in a statement last evening.
The Prime Minister Brigadier (retired) Mark Phillips during his assessment of the squatting area on Saturday, October 17, 2020, offered to provide temporary shelter to those squatters who have been displaced.
At the facility, strict COVID-19 guidelines and protocols are enforced and meals, hygiene products, sleeping, bathing and other facilities are provided.
The CDC encourages displaced Success squatters to contact the National Emergency Management System (NEMS) on 226-1114, 623-1700 and 600-7500 and make their way to the Graham’s Hall Primary School, Cummings Lodge, ECD, where they will be housed.
The squatters were forced to vacate lands that belong to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), as the company seeks to resume operations along the East Coast Corridor soon.
The issue has been a major source of contention following a standoff between law enforcement officials and squatters last month. Police used rubber bullets and tear gas on the settlers following a breakdown of relocation discussions with GuySuCo officials.
Since then, the authorities have resorted to inundate the lands to force squatters to leave. The government has since received backlash, with many condemning the actions of the authorities; labelling them as “inhumane” and a violation of human rights. Persons have also been clamouring for the squatter settlement to be regularised.
Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon has cautioned the government that such tactics have the potential of “turning citizens into refugees in their own country”, and if squatters are removed from lands, they should be given lands in return to build.