Wesley farmer says his cultivated land was bulldozed without compensation; sufficient notice was given says Wesley MP

The UWP Woodford Hill – Wesley International Airport proposal in 1998

Parliamentary Representative for the Wesley Constituency, Fidel Grant is dismissing claims that the farmers in the Joe Burton area in Wesley have been unceremoniously displaced to facilitate the construction of an International Airport.

The Minister made the announcement on Wednesday.

His statement followed complaints made by Einstein Drigo, a farmer of Wesley, who said during the Hot Seat Programme on Q-95 Radio earlier this week, that a portion of land he used for growing plantains was bulldozed to facilitate the construction of the International Airport.

In that segment Drigo did admit that he received a letter from government about a year ago to vacate the premises but that he had not received any recent notification.

Drigo explained that when he came from church on Sunday he met, “everything flat [the plantation].”

 “They didn’t even give me a chance to make someone value there for me and they didn’t even tell me they were going to do that,” he complained. “I had about 2000 bunches of plantains there.”

Drigo said some of the plantains were ready to be harvested.

He said in terms of compensation, no one has reached out to him.

However, according to Grant the reports aired on the radio are false.

“In January 2020 the government accelerated its plans to construct the International Airport based on numerous studies and technical advice, the Wesley site was deemed the most viable site on the island,” Grant explained. “As a result of this, a few residents are to be relocated.”

He said following consultation, most of these residents identified the Joe Burton and Mambrey area in Wesley as the preferred options for relocation.

 “In the first quarter of 2020 notice was served to vacate the lands in preparation for the construction of homes,” Grant revealed. “This would allow for adequate time to harvest crops already cultivated and to relocate to an alternate location.”

He said further that as the government now moves forward with plans for construction farmers interested in continuing their farming practices have been offered the option to regularize the arrangements with a view to relocate and establish new holdings.

Grant indicated that some of these farmers in the Joe Burton area have accepted the offer and await the allocation of new plots to continue farming.

He said the Government of Dominica reiterates its commitment to the development of the agricultural sector and the empowerment of citizens to contribute to national food security.

“The government reassures the public that it will prioritize the interest and well-being of every Dominican citizen as it embarks on the construction of an International Airport,” Grant stated. “We invite every Dominican to join in the collective effort to advance nation building.”

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32 Comments

  1. Gary
    January 19, 2021

    @ Ibo France. Calling people, quote, “shoe polishers of the moronic figure who is presently squatting in the office of prime minister,” is this how you intend to win an argument in response to someone comment, it just says to me, you are fraudulent. Now to your latest obsession, attacking The Media, it shows weakness on your part and not helping the political agenda you are trying to advocate. If you think you have the truth or know what the truth is then create your own blog.

  2. Ibo France
    January 18, 2021

    @Gary
    I’ve read your comments and they are precisely what I expected from a diehard supporter of this supremely evil and misguided regime.

    The contents of the letter Mr. Drigo received are in the public domain. Your unwavering support of a nakedly corrupt man and his cabinet of spineless disciples has severely clouded your ability to reason rationally.

    Imagine this! The tremendous resources of the state are not being used for public good but to deprive the most vulnerable among us their daily bread.

    Your stubborn loyalty and inseparable relationship with the chief plutocrat has made you(Gary) just as heartless as him (Mr. Skerrit) by osmosis.

  3. dissident
    January 18, 2021

    If de farmer had brandished his cutlass and disarmed that heavy equipment to save his crop….. you all would say alas for de operator….he can’t earn a bread without his machine!

    Some hungry people already feeling it!!!
    Dat parl rep is a coward softie!!!!

  4. January 18, 2021

    That individual didn’t say he wasn’t notified, he said he wasn’t “compensated”. Whether he was notified, or not, isn’t at question. Common Sense.

  5. A. George
    January 18, 2021

    From the article I gather that the farmer had the option to set up a new farm elsewhere in the community? why didn’t he?

  6. Nkrumah Kwame
    January 17, 2021

    Fidel, Fidel, Fidel!! This is not right. You know that you have done something WRONG. This is a citizen of the country with a family to feed. He is part owner of the STATE LANDS. You as the minister of Agriculture are legally responsible for overseeing these lands, until removed.
    A letter was sent to him in the first quarter of last year. Being from Wesley, you know or ought to have known, that plantains take a minimum of 12 months before they can be harvested.
    Don’t you have a heart, sir? If I may suggest, go to the gentleman, tell him you are sorry and please provide just compensation. This in no way will belittle you. On the contrary, it shows strength and humility. After all, you are his parliamentary representative!
    I am writing this now and tears are flowing. Seriously.
    My brother, the expiry date for this INIQUITY has long passed!
    Respectfully submitted.
    HOTEP!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3
  7. CLEMON GEORGE
    January 17, 2021

    It’s been a year since the farmer was told to vacate the land AND await relocation of his farm. But, has the farmer been given the opportunity to relocate? Surely he could not have uprooted his plantains and await transplantation for a year. …and what about food security? I am sorry but people still go hungry in Dominica. The minister should look around him to see the deplorable conditions that we (Dominica folks) still live in. If not for our barrels and global money transfers, Dominica would not survive. SMH

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4
  8. DA TO DE BONE
    January 17, 2021

    Stop you foolishness you sound ignorant . The individual had enough time to deal with matter. You must be one of the UWP Boom Boom fly.

    THE AIRPORT IS ON ITS WAY…….AMEN.. REALITY CHECK

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 12
  9. Dominican
    January 16, 2021

    So u trying to tell me a year ago they told you and you made no move..they didn’t give you an envelope man or you tryna fool us. If u in the states and they give I notice u still there , is bull doze..dominica picking up no man. Bull doze man they collect de.money already now they want to talk. Doh give half of de story.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10
  10. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    January 16, 2021

    You see our people talk, without knowing the facts of the matter:

     Watch this!

     “Wesley farmer says his cultivated land was bulldozed without compensation; sufficient notice was given says Wesley MP”

    That in the quote in the caption, is what gets the attention of the reading audience!

    The victim said ” his cultivated land was bulldozed “without compensation.”

    Nevertheless, the few who commented insists he was compensated and given a year’s notice to vacate the land I suppose!

    One of the reasons Dominica is so screwed up, is because of the ignorant mentality of the many, because the elected member of parliament for Wesley said something does not make it true, for all I know he is also a damn corrupted liar the same as his puppet master Roosevelt Skerrit! 

    The worst in life is to be able to read, however; unable to understand cognitively!

    Fidel your roots are in Wesley, when Roosevelt step in your face you have to live with us; and if you run you old…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3
  11. Parallels
    January 16, 2021

    That means dem fellas really building the airport, (doe worry they pay mister) I’m excited. Just as I was excited when they build the geothermal plant. But hey, it will serve the few people who have hotels and travel, especially political contributors but the geothermal will serve THE WHOLE POPULATION including the hotels that still owe Domlec because they cant afford the rates. Finish the d*mm geothermal plant, N*ss*fs will still love you all for lowering their rates saving them millions.

  12. Viewsexpressed
    January 16, 2021

    The United Workers Party (UWP) is a decent, trusted competent professional trustworthy UWP Team.
    Twenty (20) long years this Questionable failed incompetent Questionable Labour government has failed our people and our Dominica and the Principle structure, our government.
    The leadership of this so called failed incompetent YWP under Skerrit has failed us over 20 years.
    There needs to be Decent planning and understanding in accessing lands of farmers to continue their agricultural business and cultivation of our local produce. This Visionless Skerrit and this failed Labour government has ruined our economy agriculture and rural areas. This Skerrit Government has failed our people and country and have sold our Nation’s passports to so many mysterious people who fly all over the world using our Dominica name as the big boys sells our passports to “Agents” who travel the world abusing our passports in the hands of some nefarious ole people and also our local ? People from top to…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6
  13. Wicked we Wicked
    January 16, 2021

    Stupes tan
    DA will never move forward with back minded people.
    All of allu was complaining about DA not having an international airport.
    Now all of allu complaining about a piece of land being bulldozed to make way for an international airport.
    Don’t act like the man didn’t have ample time to pick the plantains that was ready.
    I know Mista was checking he doe moving for nobody.
    Everybody playing politics with that airport.
    Politics hv us fighting all developments that happening Dominica.
    Allu remember about DA being the first Bitcoin Nation in the world, allu play politics with it, now 1 Bitcoin is valued over US$30,000.
    I know Skerro doe good but come on man.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6
  14. Linclown
    January 16, 2021

    What does Drigo mean by a portion of land he used?Whose land is it?One year to harvest plantain is enough.Seeing that this guy went to Q95,my opinion is,UWP told the guy do not harvest the plantains.Just like Linton told Sam Raphael do not build Junglebay.The world know UWP is AGAINST the building of the International Airport.Haters of the Dominican people,crooks,traitors,arsonists,habitual criminals and Liars,that is UWP,These guys LOST 1,163 votes in the 2019 election yet,they say election was stolen.They are not saying why they lost so many votes.Lying to the people,with the support of Viewsexpressed,overeducated Ibo France and others.WICKED.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 12
  15. Ibo France
    January 15, 2021

    @??

    Your comments are exactly what is expected from the shoe polishers of the moronic figure who is presently squatting in the office of prime minister.

    This ignoble regime is bent on victimization, deprivation, starvation, discrimination, provocation and alienation of its own people.

    It’s simpletons and mendicant like you (??) who defend the indefensible atrocities committed by this insanely corrupt and wicked administration have protracted their time in government.

    Nothing lasts forever, good times nor bad times and this too shall not last. There will be hell to pay.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3
  16. Linclown
    January 15, 2021

    Roro,you are just another UWP JACKA.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8
  17. ASLOODIC
    January 15, 2021

    Wait… so let me get this straight.. you actually thought you lived in a free country? In a “representative democracy” ?
    Bwahahahahaha.
    😂😂😂😂😂😂

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  18. Nkrumah Kwame
    January 15, 2021

    Fidel!! You know what was done to the gentleman IS WRONG. He is a citizen of this beautiful country and if needs be, has the inalienable right to squat on STATE LANDS. Note that I said state and not government.
    The government has been given a mandate to administer these lands. Therefore, you as the present minister for Agriculture is legally responsible for issuing him communication to vacate. You also know that if your letter was sent early last year, the plantains would not have reached maturity at this time in 2021. You know that; you are from the area. Who does these things? Don’t you have a heart? And to add insult to injury, you uttered the words “food security” in the same communique??!!
    Bro, listen to me PLEASE. Compensate the brother and say sorry too. This won’t make you less of a man.
    The expiratory date of this INIQUITY has long passed!
    Respectfully submitted.
    HOTEP!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3
  19. Farmer
    January 15, 2021

    Not even in these times of a deadly COVID pandemic will some human beings have some humanity, a loving heart, a change of attitudes, respect for each other A hard working farmers’ plantain field of 2000 plants is bulldozed, money taken from him. Those who free money, Red Clinic, ham and turkey, nno employment.

    The inhumane acts is to continue to instill fear. Wickedness to your own, while foreigners making millions from sales of people own passports. Food insecurity displayed in addition to neglect of the Agriculture.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4
  20. OpenMind
    January 15, 2021

    So the point of this article is?
    Given the negative headline, one sentence was attributed to the complaint.

  21. Bogie for the City
    January 15, 2021

    OK, in the first quarter of 2020, a notice to vacate the land was given. You reside in Woodford, you are the Palrep, at least three months before the bulldozing a meeting should have been held with Mr. Drigo, and tell him of Government’s intensions, in terms of bulldozing the plantation. It is going to be very interesting to see how long is the Government going to start work in that particular area.

  22. Man bites dogs
    January 15, 2021

    I could smell a rat that farmer is a complete Lair everyone in the area has been given enough support and time, now if that farmer had a problem with his land why didn’t he goes back to the government and not to the Rum shop Q95radio was he expected to get any help or advice from Matt, or Linton, give me a break for crying out loud!!!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7
  23. dissident
    January 15, 2021

    De minister of agriculture deserves an “F”……. for focus on Dominica food security efforts. Because of our vile politics I would speculate that the farmer is not a laborite….. but you lack de wisdom to see that you actually represent de farmer in parliament.
    Your clouded vision prevents you from seeing the humanitarian aspect of de issue.
    De land could have been cleared AFTER the mature food and plants were secured Grant.
    Is this for real?
    You are agriculture minister and parliamentary representative for the area!!! some parliamentarians have total disregard and contempt for the oath they take upon entering office.
    If you knew that you could be challenged in a fair and balanced Court and put your honor at stake….. you accept de dishonor from de ordinary man instead…..to your masters content

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 10
  24. ??
    January 15, 2021

    You were compensated and given a year to vacate. It’s over two months since we know that the project site would be handed over in December but now you pretending like you had no idea. People let’s not act like we do not understand basic English. Do what you supposed to do and comply. You UWP people will never be happy. What a shame……..smh.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 40 Thumb down 40
  25. lol
    January 15, 2021

    A whole year notice and the man still complaining, boy all you good in Dominica papa

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 30
    • Galileo
      January 15, 2021

      To his credit, he is not complaining. Individuals are trying to use him to score points but as for him he may not be fine with what happened but he has admitted he was given notice and advised by the one who passed the holding onto him to let it go.

  26. Ibo France
    January 15, 2021

    DNO, once again, I have to call you out! Ninety percent (90%) of this article is about the government and Mr. Grant’s lame and dishonest defence for destroying a poor man’s only means of livelihood. I’m more now convinced, than ever before, that the DNO is mortally afraid of the Skerrit led evil and vengeful enterprise.

    There are four (4) branches of government but the conventional thinking says three(3). Thee are the 1)Executive 2) Legislative 3) Judiciary. Others have opined that the media have such significant influence on society that it can be considered as the fourth estate.

    The media houses and ‘journalists’ in Dominica are a COLOSSAL FAILURE. They are afraid to call a spade a spade.

    Prime example of this is this very article. No one is asking DNO to take sides. But this article makes DNO appear to be a conduit for the justification of the evils that this autocratic regime has perpetrated against the people.

    Extremely disappointed with the slant of this…

    ADMIN: It is clear to us you will come to your own conclusions regardless of how often we refute them.

    However, you may be interested in the following article where we examine this topic from a different perspective:https://dominicanewsonline.com/news/homepage/news/former-pm-believes-wesley-farmer-einstein-drigo-deserves-compensation/?fbclid=IwAR28YxlZBEvP5e9UXVfJSzqNrLXmOr4ryhotIrwCKqIytgAngBhLRMCRqKA

  27. aa
    January 15, 2021

    “Grant indicated that some of these farmers in the Joe Burton area have accepted the offer and await the allocation of new plots to continue farming.” so bulldozing has commence and allocation of plots has not been finalized…smh. how are you taking away someone source of income without even allocating the individual with an alternative area. what is the rush with the building of this international airport? an airport which is to serve the people of Dominica, so why mistreat and abuse the process in the realisation of an airport?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  28. Ibo France
    January 15, 2021

    The destruction of food crops is an abominable sin. For a government to destroy a poor farmer’s means of survival is the epitome of evil.

    What is even more troubling and painful is Minister Fidel Grant’s public defence of this dastardly, unconscionable action. Is this the caliber of persons we want to represent us?

    Where is these people humanity? Why couldn’t they allow the man to harvest his crop and transplant the young plants on an allocated portion of land?

    One thing I know for certain, God doesn’t sleep. He doesn’t approve of those who inconsiderately destroy His handiwork and His creation. Karma is coming.

    I just hope that the honest, hard-working gentleman, who has seven children to feed, clothe and shelter would be handsomely compensated.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2
  29. Gary
    January 15, 2021

    I listened to this Farmer Einstein Drigo interview on Q95, in the interview he indicated he received a letter from the Government some months before this incident. It would be interesting if this farmer would make public the letter he received from the Government. The search for the truth is not dependent on the media with accusations and headlines especially when it makes good for political mileage to some to further their agenda.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6
  30. RoRo
    January 15, 2021

    Dominica is a fledging Dictatorship, the regime does things and answers questions afterwards (if you are lucky). People, apart from Party followers are treated with utter contempt. However, only 13 month ago the people had a chance to voice their unhappiness but they chose those little envelopes instead. I wonder if the citizens of DA will ever get their priorities right?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 47 Thumb down 31
    • Agree
      January 16, 2021

      This is all over the world. The sheep get indoctrinated to the point of zombie like status. The govt takes takes takes…then sends a small morsel their way and they applaud their freedoms away.

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