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Progress in the struggle to remove dangerous housing and replace it with safe housing


Yesterday, some 20 delegates of Joint Committees of inhabitant-LALIT regionals of six dangerous state-built housing estates met the Ombudsperson for Children following a complaint that the government built the dangerous housing that their children live in, and is refusing to replace this housing with safe housing. (See )

The Ombudsperson, Mrs Rita Venkatasawmy announced that her Office has completed their inquiry and has produced a draft report. She said that for the first time, she is introducing a new procedure of consulting complainants' representatives before finalising her report to make sure all the issues raised have been addressed. Delegates present were given the opportunity to make proposals towards the final draft: a very democratic new procedure.

The final report with the Ombudsperson's recommendations will be remitted to the Minister for Housing and Lands, Minister Jhugroo this coming week and the Ombudsperson will then take the matter up with him. Her report will become public when the Annual Report of the Ombudsperson for Children comes out.

Before the meeting with the Ombudsperson, delegates present met for a co-ordination meeting to share reports of different forms of local action to get their MP's (many of them Ministers) to ensure that dangerous housing be removed and replaced. It was a good opportunity for delegates from the East, West and South of Mauritius to get to know each other, and get a sense of where the movement is going as a whole. Delegates are already organising report backs for inhabitants in dangerous housing estates, i.e. asbestos housing estates and block houses with no columns in Richelieu, Telfair, Ste Catherine, Rose Belle, Riviere Noire, Bambous, Plaine Magnien and Mahebourg as from this week-end.