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Chairman Says DCA Trying to Protect People, Not Impede Development


The Chairman of Saint Lucia’s Development Control Authority (DCA), Ignatius Jean, has explained that although people believe the body is trying to impede development, it is not.

Jean spoke during the Government Information Service (GIS) programme ‘Issues and Answers’ following Sunday’s devastating floods that wreaked havoc in the North of the Island.

He explained to host Calixte George Jr. that people can be very indisciplined.

“People like to take the law into their own hands and do not like to follow regulations,” the former Castries North MP observed.

But he asserted that rather than attempting to impede development, the DCA played a protective role.

“What we are trying to do is protect many of us from ourselves and protect others from the actions of those who do not care, and that’s what we are trying to regulate,” Jean told ‘Issues and Answers’.

The Minister for Physical Development, Housing, and Environment in a previous Saint Lucia Labour Party government pointed out that there were obvious reasons for setbacks.

In this regard, Jean mentioned public complaints over some parts of rivers not being desilted.

Nevertheless, the DCA Chairman noted that people ignore the setbacks.

“Where would the heavy equipment be able to navigate or traverse to get into the river bed or the other equipment you need to do the excavation, to do the clearing?” Jean said.

The DCA Chairman also pointed to the impact of indiscriminate garbage disposal.

He recalled that during the heavy rainfall on Sunday, items like stoves and washing machines were being swept away in the waterways.

“Then they become trapped under the culverts or bridges and what do you have? People’s home are flooded. Businesses are flooded – it impacts everyone. A business is ruined so they may have to send people home,” Jean observed.

“These are the types of real challenges with our officers getting out there and having to serve stop notices on citizens saying, ‘Well, you didn’t have permission to do this, so you are going to have to come in and address it. You are going to have to put in the proper design or you have to stop it completely,” the DCA Chairman said.

Nevertheless, he revealed that some people pay no heed, and by the time the matter goes before the court, a structure is up.

“And then we have problems,” Jean stated.

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  1. what about the lil green houses built in Dennery…were they approved by DCA? as you said DCA tries to ensure regulations and standards and respected…where are the toilets for these green houses? Can you explain?

  2. castries people too nasty. dumbing garbage everywhere and government do not care about the environment or else they would have made sure it was protected. The government has to undertake a rebuilding of rivers across the island. the gardening that is taking place at the edges of some of them mean some indiscriminate cutting of trees that can stem the flooding when things get bad. lucians also love to cut down the big trees that can hold the soil and prevent flooding. so altogther i am not surprised that they swimming in brown sheet now that can drown them.

  3. Cause and effect – which most St. Lucians don’t understand. I just don’t understand the level of ignorance.

  4. Well DCA, here is one solution…when they spend their money to build illegal houses, BREAK IT DOWN WITH A BULLDOZER…they will learn and others will learn…we can not continue to do these irresponsible acts after decades of seeing what happens when we destroy our environment…the thing about a lot of Saint Lucians is the level of ignorance that persist in society…

  5. Ignatius, I grew up Marchand seeing the tractors in the river cleaning it up and desilting the river bed. It’s obvious you dont know anything about these days.

  6. And it affects other people. Imagine you went to DCA, got permits and you lost everything because a nasty bunch of people decide to throw appliances in the river clogging up everything. I only wish government had a means to locate those nasty people and have them pay for all the damages they cause.

  7. That’s where government should hold them accountable. But then again if government workers are not held accountable for their non-performance, how can they now try to hold someone else accountable. Rot starts at the top

  8. You absolutely right Mr. Jean. It is about time someone told it like it is instead of that political speak.

  9. There is just too little or no law enforcement on the island, which the scums of society have realized and are taking advantage of. All of our current issues are emanating from the lack of law enforcement and so people just do as they please. There is also a lack of foresight in the engineering department. As housing developments increases on the hillsides, so are increases of incidents of flooding if those housing developments are not controlled so that the increases in the volume of water do not cause erosion and flooding. The people are destroying themselves because of their ignorance.

  10. Lucians love building little huts everywhere that “desecrate” the landscape. Go to OKEU, I see a little shanty by the road side selling things and with electricity connected. This should stop. Again “malayway economics” rather than development. For any city to succeed, and be saved from disasters like flooding, fire ect… there must be strict planning laws from government together with strict enforcement and fines. This is why you don’t have ghettos sprouting in certain places like London. Everything requires plan, permit and pay. You head into castries first thing u see is little ghettos near the sea that cannot withstand rain nor wind. it also brings a certain mentality in the people because believe it or not, your surroundings affect how you think and act. First world countries understand this, we dont or refuse too.

  11. Speaking of little huts that are a disaster waiting to happen. Castries burned down twice already. Despite that the CASTRIES CITY COUNCIL is insisting on building those little huts all over the city. What do those morons think will happen again? And therein lies the problem with DCA: selective enforcement. If you don’t enforce the rules EQUALLY people will begin to ignore them. Expect a Castries Fire 3.0 any day now. This will be the big one.

  12. No amount of distilling of rivers or drain would stop the flood from happening. These flooding happened throughout the world if we look we will see that it very other day or few days apart it happens in another country. The government is trying to take the blame away from them n putting on the ppl. Putting u first smh. Nevertheless this flood would have happened whether or not the drains n rivers were distilled it’s just an agenda that is going on in the world n we our small islands are not exempted .

  13. The situation can remedied very simple. The basic issue we have in our society is our so call politicians that is red and yellow who interfers in the functioning of institutions and preventing enforcement in the interest of win their seats.
    Example hospital road ghetto area and others around the city. This has been allowed to get worse over decades because of political interference in relocation or stopping expansion.
    Another example vendors on the pavement throughout Castries sending pedestrians into the street.
    So lets call a spade a spade because if the top is rotten the entire body is. Our politicians must learn to only support what is best for the entire country and not just their individual selves.
    Once these basic mentality is address we can make progress and reverse the journey of destruction we continue to march towards.

  14. The very same people I’m authority…. Say housing for instance. Are the very same individuals enticing the population to break the law, just to gain control of the young ideal minded folks.

    Greedy goats trying to secure their authority on the populous by any means necessary.

  15. Some very good pointers…And there are so much more wrong with this tiny country, it is just unimaginable.


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