Photo: Guyana Government Information Service. Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal revealed that government has signed multiple contracts for sustainable development.

GEORGETOWN, Guyana–November 9th, 2020–The Guyana Ministry of Housing and Water today signed 40 contracts valued $1.1 billion to ensure adequate infrastructure is in place for more sustainable housing solutions.

These projects are under the 2020 Capital Works Program.

“When we provide and make available house lots, we want to ensure that the infrastructure is in place so that you can speak directly about home ownership,” Housing and Water Minister Collin Croal said.

The Minister made the statements during the signing ceremony held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre. Twenty-two contractors were given the contracts, for housing projects in Regions Three, Four, Five and Six.

“Over $675 million of that work being identified represents road upgrades and bridges, as well as, access roads within Regions Three and Four […] $426 million will be going to road works on the East Bank corridor, while another $100 million will be going toward road works on the East Coast,” the Minister outlined.

To complement these works, Croal said residents could also look forward to seeing improved electrical, water and waste management services to ensure that housing areas are equipped with all of the necessary utilities for an enhanced quality of life.

He also indicated that works will continue in some areas where house lots were awarded, but have no infrastructure in place to help the allottees to access their lands.

Croal also cautioned the contractors that under his leadership slothful and sloppy work will not be tolerated.

“Timely execution of works must be the forefront of the project execution unit. Contractors are required to give value for money, we will not be accepting substandard work. We hold you, contactors accountable and when [you] do not delivered the necessary procedures will be followed.”

The Central Housing and Planning Authority, which falls under the purview of the Ministry of Housing and Water is also mandated to focus on monitoring and evaluating the projects awarded.

Meanwhile, Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Hon. Susan Rodrigues noted that the projects would also drive job creation.

“Support and engage our local manufacturers of construction and building materials as much as possible, this will stimulate growth in our economy. It is the same with the people that you employ to execute this works. The employment opportunities that you will create with the works awarded today ties in with the bigger picture of job creation and stimulating economic growth,” she said.

The contracts will lead to the realization of the PPP/C’s Manifesto promises to provide sustainable housing and jobs for the nation. With the removal of VAT on construction material, the housing sector is on track for major expansion and transformation as the Government works towards its goal of delivering 50,000 house lots.

At the current rate of exchange, one thousand Guyana dollars are equivalent to rather less than US$5.

With the exciting discovery of offshore oil and the subsequent incoming tax and royalty revenues, the new Guyana government is wasting no time in upgrading infrastructure in the sparsely populated South American nation–which was once a British colony–as it prepares to become the Dubai of South America.