Barbados is more than an economy is always a profound cliché emanating from the flattering lips of our leaders. Our ratio of action to pretty pronouncements would be weighted in the favour of action if they only believed what they read from their well written speeches. Barbados has 1,600 kilometres (990 mi) of public paved roads. In 2010, an assessment released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) of the United Kingdom, ranked Barbados 6th in the world, and the top spot in the Western Hemisphere for road network density. We have heard estimates of up to 140,000 registered vehicles on the roads in Barbados. No mischief is intended but could there be any environmental links which have cursed Barbados with rankings of #3 in Prostate Cancer, #13 in Breast Cancer, #13 Colon Rectum Cancer and #9 as it relates to Lymphomas.
Let me share an excerpt from a BBC report dated June 12,201, “Exhaust fumes from diesel engines do cause cancer, a panel of experts working for the World Health Organization says. It concluded that the exhausts were definitely a cause of lung cancer and may also cause tumours in the bladder. It based the findings on research in high-risk workers such as miners, railway workers and truck drivers. However, the panel said everyone should try to reduce their exposure to diesel exhaust fumes.” (Source,The International Agency for Research)
The attempt to plant houses at Lower Greys provoked several like-minded people to meet at the location to express disappointment with our land use policy. BU reported on the meeting in the blog Future Trust Meeting At Boarded Hall. BU is pleased to share the speaking notes of Senator Dr. Frances Chandler who was a featured speaker at the meeting.
Let me start by saying that I am well aware that affordable housing is a priority for Barbados and have to commend the present administration for the noticeable increase in housing which has come about in the last four and a half years.
However, I will never agree with taking good agricultural land out of production to be put into housing. Once it goes into housing it is lost forever. And there is no need to do this. I drive around the country daily and I know there is enough non-arable land which could be used .
Also, if we are going to take land out, start with the dry coastal areas which present challenges to farmers-not the fertile lands of St George, St Thomas and so on. The land next to us which is about to be used for housing belongs to Hannays Plantation, one of the best managed and most successful plantations in the island.
On the left is the open area where the meeting will be held at Boarded Hall and on the right shows how topsoil is allowed to runoff and the fertility of agriculture land suffocated to rab land
A reminder the Future Centre Trust National meeting on Food Security, Permaculture, Land Use policy and Agriculture will be held this Sunday at 4 PM. Featured speakers slated are Dr Chelston Brathwaite, Keith Laurie, Dr Frances Chandler and Keeley Holder.
The meeting will be held on the open area at Boarded Hall. All Barbadians and friends of Barbados are invited to come and have a say.
Senator Dr. Frances Chandler, a respected voice on land use in Barbados
The following message from the Future Trust is being disseminated by BU because there is undoubtedly a big case of relevance. Minister David Estwick has been making a lot of noise recently to gain attention for his ministry. It appears he has been successful in the endeavour.
National Meeting on Agriculture
Date: Sunday June 24
Duration: 3 hours
Location: Boarded Hall
Speakers: Dr Francis Chandler, Dr Chelston Brathwaite, Keith Laurie, Mia Mottley
Catalyst: Large area of VERY arable land earmarked at Lower Greys east of the Shop on the right hand side to be put into housing. Land was in food production up to two years ago. Is this the best we can do with our arable land when so much rab land is around?
A few will make lots a money and many will own a home but maybe unable to buy the imported food due to high inflation. We are saying the most arable fertile lands in the St George Valley and St Thomas must be protected from development. When will this encroachment stop? With the Urban Sprawl well entrenched all lands in this 166sq mile dot is marginal.
Submitted by Kammie Holder (Project Coordinator for Barbados)
10 Persons/ Organisations planting, 10 trees at 10am on the 10th October at Morgan Lewis Hill St Andrew at 10am. Do see http://www.350.org also we are featured on their homepage. This will also be sent to the United Nations by the 350 Organisation as part of Climate Change Day of Action statement – Click Image to access 350.org website