Land Settlement Agency Launch of Outreach – Coming Down by You
The Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis, MP
Minister of Housing and Urban Development
National Racquet Sports Centre
Monday, July 3, 2023 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
- The Honourable Adrian Leonce, Minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Member of Parliament for Laventille East/Morvant
- Mrs. Shanmatee Singh Ng Sang, Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
- Mr. Hazar Hosein, Chief Executive Officer of the Land Settlement Agency
- Senior Officials and staff of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and of the Land Settlement Agency
- Representatives of Community Groups
- Specially invited guests
- Members of the Media
- Ladies and gentlemen
Good morning everyone,
As Minister of Housing and Urban Development, I am elated to launch the ‘Coming Down by YoU’ project – an initiative of the Land Settlement Agency’s Community Development Unit. It is also an honour to be joined in support by my parliamentary colleagues, representatives of other ministries of government, state agencies, and communities gathered here today.
It is also important that you know, this programme is all about you!
The ‘Coming Down by YoU’ project is one which will positively impact our communities because of its key objectives which are to:
- Assess the needs of the communities and inform the respective Community of the development initiatives of the LSA
- Establish Settlement Councils
- Provide information about the programmes of the LSA, other ministries of government and relevant state agencies.
As a government that puts people first, we are here today to provide you with information about how to access relevant services, training and human development initiatives offered by my government.
As the government, led by the People’s National Movement, has done the most in the history of Trinidad and Tobago for micro-, small-, and medium-enterprises, we are also here today to encourage sustainable micro-enterprise development. It allows us to preserve the environment, protect biodiversity, mitigate climate change, eradicate poverty, promote social inclusivity, and foster long-term economic growth.
Many of the hardworking public officers who are here today, from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, as well as, from the other Ministries and State Agencies, will be here again and again over the next few months trying to ensure you achieve your goals.
We will be in the field, very soon, with our working boots on, at five designated areas:
- Southern Gardens, Point Fortin
- Pine Settlement, Sangre Grande
- Lawrence Wong, Longdenville
- Jacob Hill, Wallerfield, and
- Milton Village, Couva.
In the next fiscal year, this project will be expanded to reach several other communities because this government leaves no one behind. A few weeks ago, I attended the inaugural outreach event for the ‘Coming Down by YoU’ project, which was hosted in the beautiful Bon Air North, Arouca community. You may know it.
Delivering good governance and service excellence, as our National Development Strategy Vision 2030 reminds us, means developing partnerships for development. That is what today is about. Government is seeking to partner with you for your development. We are here to support you because we know you support us and the goals for the development of our beloved nation.
The Ministry and the LSA partnered with representatives of the Bon Air North Village Council, to facilitate the pilot project within that area. Residents were consulted. Their needs were determined. We identified initiatives and programmes that would benefit them, their children and their entire community directly. And that is what we are here to do for you today.
Attendees also benefited from a free training session on Agriculture and Home Gardening, organised and facilitated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, which also, very generously, distributed seedlings after the session to participants.
These free but highly valuable training sessions are a key component of the ‘Coming Down by YoU’ outreach events, not only because they teach you how to meet your most basic human need for food, but also because they target residents who are interested in micro-entrepreneurship as an avenue for improving their lives as well as others.
As your government, we committed, in Vision 2030, to help our citizens build globally competitive businesses. That is why it is our pleasure to bring the LSA and our partners all across the country to facilitate microenterprise development within our communities.
We have two (2) priority areas for micro-enterprise development and they are:
- Economic growth, job creation, competitiveness and innovation, and
- Poverty reduction and human capital development.
The objectives of micro-enterprise development are to formalise small business planning in communities and facilitate their growth and development through meaningful partnership with the LSA’s Settlement Councils, private sector stakeholders, and public sector stakeholders.
As I said earlier, we are also here, very importantly, to establish Settlement Councils. Communities all across this country have seen the benefits of having Village Councils. Our LSA communities must not be left out from receiving the benefits of these vital instruments of social cohesion.
Settlement Councils comprise members of the community who form a governing body, which helps to facilitate sustainable community development. In addition to facilitating micro-enterprise development within communities, Settlement Councils also focus on fostering community spirit and participation. They will also focus on mediation and dispute resolution. Through the ‘Coming Down by YoU’ project, the LSA’s Community Development Unit will work closely with you to establish and revive these Settlement Councils enhance your communities.
The Minister in the Ministry, the Permanent Secretary, the Land Settlement Agency and myself, look forward to the evolution of this project, and to its success in this and the other areas designated for 2023 and 2024. We want to see the communities with which we are engaged, thrive and become sustainable and self-sufficient. We want to our people continuously growing and developing. To the Ministries, Agencies and other stakeholder groups which will be part of the ‘Coming Down by YoU’ project, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, I thank you for your support. I thank you for the important work you are doing here today for the people of this great land.
In closing, I avail myself of the opportunity to reiterate my sincerest congratulations to the Land Settlement Agency and in particular, to the personnel of the Community Development Unit, for this project, for the excellent work in Bon Air Arouca, and for all the work you will do for the other communities in the weeks and months ahead.
Inspired by the nobility of this project, I have every confidence that together, as one nation under God, we shall lift up all our communities, and build a better and more prosperous Trinidad and Tobago in which our goals for national development will be realised.
Thank you for being part of the team making Trinidad and Tobago a better place.
May God bless you all.
I thank you.