ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Barbudan Senator McKenzie Frank has said more needs to be done to stop the misuse of lands on the sister island.
Frank said over the past few years, Barbudans have seen serious exploitation of the land and this is not part of the design of the Barbuda Land Act, which states that the land belongs to the Barbudan people.
He said in recent years, developers have been encroaching on the isle with development plans, and while he is not against this, the controversial proposals for 99-year lease and demands for up to 3,000 acres or more is “unacceptable.”
“ You have people who want up to 3,000 acres now that is not feasible. What you are going to be doing is putting your best and most economic piece of land into the hands of outsiders and that is not something which is sustainable.”
The Barbuda Council member also spoke on the resumption of sand mining months after the Council passed a resolution to stop the practice.
He said there is no sand left on Barbuda, which is mineable, only small quantities close to a ridge in Palmetto Point which blocks major storm surges from entering the island.
“In my humble opinion, no one should be touching that ridge and I hope that the other members of the council would stand with me on that,” Frank said.
In June of this year, Council Chairman Kelvin Punter said the cessation of sand mining in April was “temporary” as the local government body mulls resuming the operation to settle the debts associated with mining.
He estimated the outstanding sums could be as much as $135,000, though it stood at $45,000 two months ago.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)