The Government of Saint Lucia will utilize a multi-sectoral approach in an attempt to bring much needed relief to residents and landowners in the highly publicized Dugard, Micoud housing demolition matter.
Via the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment, coupled with support from the
Ministry of Housing and Local Government, approximately 50 residents affected by the recent court demolition order, are to be relocated to government lands.
Equity Minister Hon. Joachim Henry on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 held frank and open dialogue with affected residents as well as the landowners in the matter.
According to Minister Henry, “there are no real winners in this situation, as both landowners and displaced residents have been severely affected.”
The community of Dugard, Micoud the Minister lamented, “is also reeling from the rift that the untenable situation has caused.”
Minister Henry gave the assurance that government was moving speedily to resettle the affected individuals. A comprehensive profile of the uprooted families he noted had begun, that would guide government’s actions moving forward.
Meantime, the Equity Minister underscored the traumatic effect the demolition order has had on the landowners themselves. “They too must be considered in all of this. They have been seeking occupation of property the law said belonged to them.”
Minister Henry is of the view that the recent Dugard, Micoud situation underscores the dire need for more education, sensitization and serious attention to be paid to land occupation and tenure issues. Land occupation and entitlement issues have been perennial problems here on Saint Lucia for eons.
“Notwithstanding the efforts of the Program for the Regularization of Unplanned Development (PROUD) in providing some order and relief when it comes to crown lands, there are simply far too many Saint Lucians who do not know or are totally unaware of proper land occupation and ownership matters. Their uninformed actions ultimately lead to the courts stepping in with an end result that’s disappointment, evictions, demolitions and pain, like what we witnessed in Micoud,” noted Henry.
The government delegation that met with the affected parties included Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Senator Hon. Gibeon Ferdinand and Member of Parliament for Micoud North Jeremiah Norbert.
Source: MINISTRY OF EQUITY, SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EMPOWERMENT. Headline photo: Demolition in progress.