Guyanese running from crises in Venezuela meets tragedy in Guyana

first_img…Region 2 officials order home be demolishedBeing unable to deal with the economic crisis in neighbouring Venezuela, Haimwattie Sooknandan and her family returned home to Guyana in hope of being able to start a new chapter in life, but now they are on the verge of being homeless, because the Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) Authorities have ordered the demolition of a house they were constructing.Workers demolishing the houseWhen Sooknandan returned from Venezuela, she was offered a plot of land at Jibb on the Essequibo Coast, to construct a house for her family. She explained that Balkarran Sooklall, the man who had been occupying the land for over 48 years, gave her family written permission to build on the property, and the Evergreen-Paradise Neighbourhood Democratic Council supported that decision.The woman is contending that while in the process of constructing the building, Deputy Regional Executive Officer Roopkumar Persaud and Administrative Officer Morris Walcott stormed the site and ordered that construction cease, even as they began demolishing what was already constructed.“When the house (was) almost complete, the REO sent the DREO and Morris Walcott, and them come and break down the house and carry away the material. Them just come and say that the REO sent them to break the house and carry (away) the material, because this is a squatting land,” Sooknandan related.“It got like 40 houses in the land, and it have light and water. It have people here that farming. The NDC does take care of this place, and they tell the DREO to stop breaking up the house, but he nah want to listen to nobody, and he say that he is he own boss,” she added.She noted that the family has since met with Region Two Executive Officer Rupert Hopkinson, who initially said he did not order the house demolished, but did inform that should the family return to the location, the structure would be demolished.Sooknandan has said she has run out of options, since she had borrowed money to make a down payment on the building materials, and she now owes the supplier over $500,000.“They called me back for the material, and me tell them that me can’t accept that, because the material got serious damage and me can’t accept that because them nah tek them time, them kick down the wood them. Them behave like hooligan. Them man this eye-passing to people. I want them fuh compensate meh fuh me time. Them got fuh compensate meh and build back meh house how them get um,” Sooknandan related.The distraught woman has indicated that she would be exploring her legal options on the matter. She related that she is presently renting a house, but would have to vacate same, since both she and her husband are unemployed.In an effort to bring closure to the incident, Regional Chairman Devanand Ramdatt met with Sooknandan, and has since engaged the REO.When this newspaper contacted the REO on this and other matters, he said he was busy and could not comment on the issue.last_img

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