Communal pastures should remain communal

first_imgDear Editor,There is now land giving away galore at the Office of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) at Corriverton.On February 13, 2018, nearly 800 prospective and current cattle and rice farmers flocked the GLSC’s office to apply for lands located at the #52/66 Communal Pasture. Some even came all the way from the USA allegedly making gifts to certain officials in an attempt to get preferential treatment. It is also alleged that many local applicants followed suit. There was a haste to dispense of monies for favours – a typical Guyanese sickness!This pasture comprises 17,000 acres and has been in existence for decades but in the last 12 years or so, there has been a gradual fencing of portions of this pasture by cattle farmers who have been trying to stake ownership.This was accelerated since this coalition took office. These cattle farmers have been digging and fencing huge areas which makes it impossible to drain the Pasture since water is now being trapped in these canals. The drainage and irrigation system bore no structured design. This was evident during the heavy rainfall last year. The savannah was heavily flooded and the water took a long time to recede.Unfortunately, this has now progressed to the stage where the GLSC at Corriverton has been inviting and receiving applications from farmers inviting them to show an expression of interest. The Application Form is on the GLSC letterhead. These prospective applicants have been told that they should apply for the lands at that particular location.On many occasions, Agriculture Minister Noel Holder would have made statements on his visits to Region Six in support of the development of our cattle and dairy farming. This was also supported by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and the Junior Finance Minister Jaipaul Sharma. However, from the applications made, it is evident that many of these applicants, nearly 90 per cent, are rice farmers and many applicants do not own any cattle, especially those from abroad. It is apparent also that those overseas applicants have real estate intentions or intentions to rent the lands at a later date, especially when it is a known fact that many of the lease land owners reside abroad and are renting their lands for hefty rental fees.Moreover, many cattle farmers would have complained to the PM’s representative in Region Six, Gobin Harbhajan, about the constant problems and struggles they face with rice farmers and it is clear that should rice be planted in localised areas within this savannah, then bloody and murderous conflicts may arise among these farmers.It is indeed baffling why the Commissioner of the GLSC, Trevor Benn has not seen it fit to discuss this matter at length with Regional Chairman David Armogan so that a collective decision can be made at the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) level. Many times, the GLSC would try to impose its will in the region and the RDC have had to block the applications after the matters were reported by the affected Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDC).I have two cases at the Kilcoy/Hampshire NDC where communal pastures of more than 200 acres have been applied for and claimed by avaricious individuals to the detriment of the residents who now have no pastures to rear their animals. Although the applications to the GLSC were blocked by the RDC upon my intervention, the individuals went ahead and fenced the lands.These communal pastures should remain as that and should not become the private property of greedy individuals. There are lands available in remote areas – let them apply for those. Everyone should have access to these pastures to rear their cattle and it is the function of the Government to provide access roads and proper drainage to facilitate this. Why would Trevor Benn desire to commit such an injustice?Yours sincerely,Haseef YusufRDC Councillor –Region SixChairman (Kilcoy/Hampshire NDC)last_img read more

Peewee Flyers top 10 finalists for Good Deeds Cup

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Ross H. MacLean Flyers have qualified for the finals of the Good Deeds Cup.During Friday nights World Junior Gold Medal Game, Chevrolet announced the top 10 teams across Canada that could win the Good Deeds Cup.  The top 10 included the Fort St. John Ross H. MacLean Peewee Flyers.The Good Deeds Cup was created in 2016 to highlight teams that work to make their community a better place to live.  During the video showcasing the top 10 teams, the Fort St. John Peewee Flyers were shown helping with the annual Fill the Bus Campaign.  Here is the video the Flyers sent to the Good Deeds Cup.- Advertisement -Over 3,000 teams signed up for the Good Deeds Cup.  Voting to pick the winner will start January 15, 2018.  For more information about how you can vote for the Peewee Flyers, visit http://bit.ly/2AxG3H6last_img read more