Categorized | Editorial

The lack of sincere desire to inform will destroy us

Editorial – November 23, 2012

Montserrat is experiencing a situation which is taking its people back to years many especially resident know nothing of, or cannot remember or do not wish to remember.

It is one that we have echoed and mentioned time and time over, but which unfortunately exits and encouraged because it suits a style to which many are either ignorant or willfully support to perpetuation. Some of the ignorant just do not know any better and the others are really the ones who may just be plain blind or are among the few who benefit know matter what. They just do not care. But they need to get quickly to the reality that on that ground it is like the sand some of us hear about or read in the Holy Scriptures.

Ever since the volcanic crisis began there has been that problem of land ownership and land uses in Montserrat. We were told in very recent times that it would not be too long before all in Montserrat would enjoy the knowledge of what each square foot of land would be allowed to have constructed or left alone as seen fit and accepted by most.

Not too long ago that area that called Piper’s Pond was designated as “largest remaining wetland habitat remaining on Montserrat. It was said to, “have potential as an educational resource. Its rehabilitation can serve to raise public awareness on conservation issues, and develop appreciation of wetlands as a significant component of the environment on Montserrat.”

Legislation confirmed its existence, but in a flash it was reversed and is now a significant location to form part of the new town in Montserrat.

The problem here is that when the fishermen of Montserrat almost a hundred of them were told there area of operation is required to form part of the planned new port, they had in mind an earlier plan to use that pond as a fishers safe harbour, while maintaining its historical and natural value.

So the fishermen are displaced with no home in sight and the fishermen livelihood at stake and the food of Montserrat takes a further dive.

There is also another big environmental blow. The wetland was also designated as a wildlife reserve, and there were plans to implement conservation practices and management controls in a buffer zone (designated as a conservation area), in order to limit. The birds were forced to find a home and already have been the subject of near tragedy in the area of our international airport.

Then in addition, there is the issue of Murphy and the efforts to relocate him from an area some are now calling ‘a landmark’. All this is part of the new thrust to develop a port, a new town and a ‘progressive’ and economically viable future for Montserrat. The mistaken idea of placing full focus in the Little Bay and Carrs Bay area.

There have been plans gone over many times since 1998. Unfortunately those plans have been nothing more than that, now there is still slow agreement as to what shape those plans should take. Then failure slips in. It is what the recent DFID review team found lacking when they visited to do a mid-term review of the framework of a “strategic growth package for Montserrat”.

This was so important because, “It is expected that the successful implementation of the reform programme will put Montserrat on a clear path to faster economic growth and reduced dependence on UK budgetary support.”

The communication methods are lacking in that either people are doubtful or have no confidence in what is being said, do not believe that it has anything to do with them, or that they are left with this perception especially all they are told they can go to this or that website and see what is being planned for them.

It must be understood that government can acquire or displace anyone for the public good, but this should be done by informing and advising and discussing the compensation well in advance of time before aggravation and bad feelings. All the discussion that is taking place around these issues being faced in Carrs Bay and its environs should have been in the open long before the struggle to get them there now.

 

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Editorial – November 23, 2012

Montserrat is experiencing a situation which is taking its people back to years many especially resident know nothing of, or cannot remember or do not wish to remember.

It is one that we have echoed and mentioned time and time over, but which unfortunately exits and encouraged because it suits a style to which many are either ignorant or willfully support to perpetuation. Some of the ignorant just do not know any better and the others are really the ones who may just be plain blind or are among the few who benefit know matter what. They just do not care. But they need to get quickly to the reality that on that ground it is like the sand some of us hear about or read in the Holy Scriptures.

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Ever since the volcanic crisis began there has been that problem of land ownership and land uses in Montserrat. We were told in very recent times that it would not be too long before all in Montserrat would enjoy the knowledge of what each square foot of land would be allowed to have constructed or left alone as seen fit and accepted by most.

Not too long ago that area that called Piper’s Pond was designated as “largest remaining wetland habitat remaining on Montserrat. It was said to, “have potential as an educational resource. Its rehabilitation can serve to raise public awareness on conservation issues, and develop appreciation of wetlands as a significant component of the environment on Montserrat.”

Legislation confirmed its existence, but in a flash it was reversed and is now a significant location to form part of the new town in Montserrat.

The problem here is that when the fishermen of Montserrat almost a hundred of them were told there area of operation is required to form part of the planned new port, they had in mind an earlier plan to use that pond as a fishers safe harbour, while maintaining its historical and natural value.

So the fishermen are displaced with no home in sight and the fishermen livelihood at stake and the food of Montserrat takes a further dive.

There is also another big environmental blow. The wetland was also designated as a wildlife reserve, and there were plans to implement conservation practices and management controls in a buffer zone (designated as a conservation area), in order to limit. The birds were forced to find a home and already have been the subject of near tragedy in the area of our international airport.

Then in addition, there is the issue of Murphy and the efforts to relocate him from an area some are now calling ‘a landmark’. All this is part of the new thrust to develop a port, a new town and a ‘progressive’ and economically viable future for Montserrat. The mistaken idea of placing full focus in the Little Bay and Carrs Bay area.

There have been plans gone over many times since 1998. Unfortunately those plans have been nothing more than that, now there is still slow agreement as to what shape those plans should take. Then failure slips in. It is what the recent DFID review team found lacking when they visited to do a mid-term review of the framework of a “strategic growth package for Montserrat”.

This was so important because, “It is expected that the successful implementation of the reform programme will put Montserrat on a clear path to faster economic growth and reduced dependence on UK budgetary support.”

The communication methods are lacking in that either people are doubtful or have no confidence in what is being said, do not believe that it has anything to do with them, or that they are left with this perception especially all they are told they can go to this or that website and see what is being planned for them.

It must be understood that government can acquire or displace anyone for the public good, but this should be done by informing and advising and discussing the compensation well in advance of time before aggravation and bad feelings. All the discussion that is taking place around these issues being faced in Carrs Bay and its environs should have been in the open long before the struggle to get them there now.