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10 families receive new houses in Warapoka, Region One

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The lives of ten families from the community of Warapoka in Region One have now improved, as they received the keys to their brand-new elevated timber houses, through the government’s Hinterland Housing Programme.

Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, officially handed over the keys to the families during an outreach in the region, on Saturday.

Beneficiary, Doreen Fredericks along with Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal and other officials

This forms part of a commitment made by the minister during a solar panel distribution in Warapoka back in November 2023.

One of the beneficiaries, 78 year old, Doreen Fredericks said that she always wanted a spacious house to comfortably accommodate her family.

“When my family used to come here, I never used to have space for them. I always wanted a big house. My grandchildren can now spend the night with me,” Fredericks said.

She said there are plans to will convert her old house into a kitchen.

In the same vein, 55 year old, Sheila Augustus is extremely happy for the new house since she has been waiting a while for it.

Augustus explained that it was hard on her family financially after a snake bit her husband.

“This is what I have been praying for. I am at peace now. When I hear the rain, I do not have to get up and say ‘Oh, we will get wet’, ” she emphasised.

Another beneficiary, 43 year old, Gloria Augustus is appreciative that she now has a new home for her two children.

She added that her previous living condition was terrible and noted how difficult it was for her family following the death of her husband.

Meanwhile, Minister Croal underlined this initiative alone has injected $39 million into the village economy.

He emphasised, “This is a start for you. You can expand on this. You now have a three-bedroom home for you and your family.”

So far, 40 houses have been handed over to the beneficiaries under this programme.

Some 125 out of 400 of these houses have been completed in Kokerite, Warapoka, Haimaruni, Tiger Pond, Lethem, Yakarinta, Nappi, Crashwater and Rupunau.

This project has not only generated employment opportunities for residents but also provided disposable income in their households.

This housing programme continues to improve the lives of many indigenous residents in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine.

Over the years, the village council has received some $50 million in various grants.

Similarly, heavy investments are being injected into the water sector to increase treated water coverage to 100 per cent in the hinterland regions by 2025.

Access to treated water stands at 75 per cent and is expected to increase by 92 per cent by year-end in the region.

Contracts totalling $52.8 million were recently awarded to SRT Constructing General Supplies to drill new wells in Santa Cruz, Warapoka and Kokerite.

Furthermore, Waikrebi, Kariako, Chinese Landing and Assakata will also benefit from the construction of new wells for $79.3 million.

With the aim to boost agriculture production in Warapoka, cash crop seeds were distributed to the villagers.

A total of 20,000 pounds of cassava sticks will be distributed next week in the region to farmers whose crops were destroyed by fire caused by El Niño.

Minister Croal announced that a Presidential outreach will be hosted in Region One next weekend, where various issues will be addressed to provide the necessary interventions.

The minister was accompanied by Regional Chairman, Brentnol, Regional Vice Chairman, Annansha Peters, Regional Executive Officer (REO), Mr Sewchand, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, Sarah Browne, Toshao of Warapoka, Jaremy Boyle, Overseer of the Hinterland Housing Programme, Cy Rodrigues and others.

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