Land in the South! Now what?

By Man from Baker Hill

Last month, a news report on ZJB radio announced that the authorities found cocaine worth more than $5 million in the south of Montserrat.  Probably I will never hear anything further on the matter; …, probably. So speculation must be in order.

Is Montserrat a transhipment point for illegal drugs? And if so, should it surprise? After all, year after year, ZJB radio broadcast to the world that the lands in the south of Montserrat are unsafe for normal business and out of bounds for Montserratians. Did we invite the drug dealers to the south of Montserrat by our proclamation? Whether that is so or not, we have serious trouble brewing on our hands; because our proclamations have manifested into criminal attraction.

Yes, lands in the south, now what?

We must be aware that many Montserratians enter into those areas to hunt and kill the wild goats and pigs; and some persons are even allowed to carry guns to shoot those animals. Just suppose, yes suppose that Montserratians with guns unexpectedly come upon drug dealers trading their cargo!

This is not a laughing matter.  Anything can happen when people with guns meet other people with guns. But I shall leave it there for the time being.

But in the mean time I will reflect on an article I recently saw in The Montserrat Reporter that was written sometime in 1996.  That article was captioned ‘Land in the north, What Now’.  The writer seemed to be begging the authorities to seriously consider educating Montserratians on matters of zoning and acquisition of lands.

 Now this is a laughing matter, because 17 years have passed and Montserratians are still struggling with land acquisition, land for public and private cemeteries and squatters rights. Still, you might ask, so what is the connection between lands in the south and lands in the north? And I shall say this. Montserrat needs commitment from its political leaders to take prompt actions that will yield social and economic benefits. We must not wait another 17 years to stamp out the use of the south for the drug trafficking or other illegal or uneconomic activity.

Lands in the south, now what! Well, now that the volcano has reshaped the lands in the south, that area must also be subject to zoning. It must be allocated to what it is most economically suitable.

 The allocation must not be left to drug traders.  Neither should the lands in the south be allocated for the illegal shipment of our goats and cattle to other islands.

 It is no secret that the southern lands have been reconfigured into magnificent feeding grounds for grass feeding animals…. Therefore, we must develop a meat industry around our lands in the south. We must move beyond the wanton slaughter of animals or the unregulated herding of our pigs, goats, sheep and cattle. We could consider a halfway abattoir in Cork Hill that will make it easier for animal herders to trade their catch.  In this way we can have more authorized presence in the so called unsafe areas and possibly slow down or even prevent the use of the lands in the south for transhipment of drugs. Come on, let’s give it a try!

 Oh yes, lands in the south, now what!

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By Man from Baker Hill

Last month, a news report on ZJB radio announced that the authorities found cocaine worth more than $5 million in the south of Montserrat.  Probably I will never hear anything further on the matter; …, probably. So speculation must be in order.

Is Montserrat a transhipment point for illegal drugs? And if so, should it surprise? After all, year after year, ZJB radio broadcast to the world that the lands in the south of Montserrat are unsafe for normal business and out of bounds for Montserratians. Did we invite the drug dealers to the south of Montserrat by our proclamation? Whether that is so or not, we have serious trouble brewing on our hands; because our proclamations have manifested into criminal attraction.

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Yes, lands in the south, now what?

We must be aware that many Montserratians enter into those areas to hunt and kill the wild goats and pigs; and some persons are even allowed to carry guns to shoot those animals. Just suppose, yes suppose that Montserratians with guns unexpectedly come upon drug dealers trading their cargo!

This is not a laughing matter.  Anything can happen when people with guns meet other people with guns. But I shall leave it there for the time being.

But in the mean time I will reflect on an article I recently saw in The Montserrat Reporter that was written sometime in 1996.  That article was captioned ‘Land in the north, What Now’.  The writer seemed to be begging the authorities to seriously consider educating Montserratians on matters of zoning and acquisition of lands.

 Now this is a laughing matter, because 17 years have passed and Montserratians are still struggling with land acquisition, land for public and private cemeteries and squatters rights. Still, you might ask, so what is the connection between lands in the south and lands in the north? And I shall say this. Montserrat needs commitment from its political leaders to take prompt actions that will yield social and economic benefits. We must not wait another 17 years to stamp out the use of the south for the drug trafficking or other illegal or uneconomic activity.

Lands in the south, now what! Well, now that the volcano has reshaped the lands in the south, that area must also be subject to zoning. It must be allocated to what it is most economically suitable.

 The allocation must not be left to drug traders.  Neither should the lands in the south be allocated for the illegal shipment of our goats and cattle to other islands.

 It is no secret that the southern lands have been reconfigured into magnificent feeding grounds for grass feeding animals…. Therefore, we must develop a meat industry around our lands in the south. We must move beyond the wanton slaughter of animals or the unregulated herding of our pigs, goats, sheep and cattle. We could consider a halfway abattoir in Cork Hill that will make it easier for animal herders to trade their catch.  In this way we can have more authorized presence in the so called unsafe areas and possibly slow down or even prevent the use of the lands in the south for transhipment of drugs. Come on, let’s give it a try!

 Oh yes, lands in the south, now what!