Wesley development organization holds first public awareness meeting on proposed international airport

Onlookers  at the recent meeting for the Wesley Development Organization

The steering Committee of the newly formed Wesley Development Organization held its first public awareness meeting for members of the Village. The meeting, which lasted for three hours from 6pm Tuesday 13 October, highlighted a number of areas of concern. The featured speakers were primarily professionals born and/or residing in Wesley and included Dr Griffin Benjamin, David Edwards, specialist in project management, Wilmorth Robin licensed civil engineer in the State of Maryland, USA and Wilbour Phillip former employee of the National Development Corporation and Specialist in environmental Impact assessments who is now employed at Caricom. Robin and Phillip delivered their presentations via the internet. The organizers reported that there were more than 1000 persons logged on via the various streaming platforms.

Attorney at-law Tihani Behanzin also made a presentation outlining the legal process of land acquisition. In his short presentation, Mr Behanzin pointed out to the audience that the process of acquisition of their land and property had already begun and would be completed when the notice of acquisition of the different properties had appeared twice in the official Gazette, even while they continued to discuss the quantum of compensation.

Throughout the meeting the various speakers were at pains to point out that they were not against the construction of the airport per se, but bemoaned the fact that up till then there had been no consultation with the villagers on the airport. A recurring theme was a lack of knowledge as to why the lands that been acquired since 1998 by the Government for airport construction were being abandoned in favour of the new site which will cause a number of unwanted effects. One of these effects, which was mentioned several times, was the expectation that the airport would cut the village in two, separating the eastern portion of the Village from the western portion and effectively eliminating access to the beaches and seashore. Speakers were also concerned that some villagers had lost their agricultural lands in the previous acquisition and now stood to be deprived of their homes in the village.

Mr. Robin explained that the construction of the airport would necessarily involve earth movement on a very large scale, which necessitated proper management to mitigate the ill effects on the health and safety of the population from the dust. Dr Benjamin made it clear that the project would involve the displacement of persons from their homes. According to him, psychological trauma could result if the relocation was not done in a sensitive and rational manner.

The Chair of the meeting, Julien Jeremy, reiterated the consensus of the meeting. The consensus is that the people of Wesley called on the authorities to come to the village to explain the whole process of the construction of the airport and the benefits that the residents can expect. The committee expected that the people of Wesley would get first choice in employment during the construction phase. Hon Fidel Grant, parliamentary representative of the area was present at the meeting, but did not speak. The Chairman specifically asked Hon Grant to take that message back to his cabinet colleagues. The Chairman ended the meeting with a wish that a meeting with the highest political authorities would take place in Wesley in the very near future.

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12 Comments

  1. Linclown
    October 19, 2020

    Why did UWP abandoned the site proposed by the DFP?IBO SMART,answer that question.Dominican para-military personnel went to Grenada as members of the CARIBBEAN PEACE KEEPING FORCE.In exchange the Americans promised Dominica an international airport.IBO SMART,what happened to that airport?Liars,crooks,traitors.Whether UWP like it or not the airport will be built.When the runway was being extended at the DC Airport Angelo Allen said it was a fighter jet airport built by the Venezuelans.Years later COONU PIPO is mentioning the same BS.

  2. Pipo
    October 18, 2020

    I must admit I do not understand why the government would be acquiring land for a new airport, I presume by compulsory purchase, when nobody has seen any plans of that airport. In the absence of information people will speculate and I’ve heard it said that it is for a Chinese base instead. America have their base in Cuba, so why not have a Chinese base in Dominica? If that does happen I just pray they pay handsomely
    rent for it in U.S. dollars, like the Americans do for Guantanamo Bay.

  3. Garvey
    October 17, 2020

    Man bite dog you are a ………. I read the entire article and Mr. Linton name was not there,the people of Wesley and most of all the people of Dominica have every right to question the Construction of a internet airport. So man bite Dog do you have land in Wesley or Marigot or your family reside ther? Yes as a citizen of the country you have an opinion in the matter but so does every other citizen.A project of this magnitude needs to be carefully studied and discussed so don’t be to hasten and let commonsense prevail.

  4. L C Matthew
    October 16, 2020

    Why are we allowing this thing to happen again. The previous government purchased lands. That means it is tbe responsibility of the next government to deal with and manage. 20 years have past and the status of the lands is not clear yet we see the purchase of new land with no plans and accountability of previous property. What is really wrong with our people? Why in God name are people negotiating land price individually with government. There should be a committee set up and lawyers negotiate price and demands from government. It seem like when Skerritt selling or buying land he can inflate or deflate prices when it suits him. After 20 years the public is yet to see a plan? This country is getting worst by the day.

  5. Hector Marie
    October 16, 2020

    I must agree with anyone who questions the abandonment of the area proposed by the U W P for the airport. #1 The area chosen by the former Government was mostly agricultural lands with fewer houses including some of what we called bush meaning its vacant. #2 The present site is quite the opposite, almost 50% of the village is being acquired plus the U W P site would not disturb any part of the public road as the DLP does . I know this because i was a land owner in 1998 acquisition and my house plus the school and one other house will survive

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3
  6. concern
    October 16, 2020

    Yeh papa!!! Here we go again. Newly form devlopment committee :?:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3
  7. Man bites dogs
    October 16, 2020

    I and many others around Dominica is waning Wesley people don’t take any notice of that box of rotten eggs so-called Workers calamity jokers this guys have no future in life their leader has been a papyshow loser all off his life do not let him turn you all into one like him! I personally believe that Mr Dr Skerrit and his administration has given you a great deal for your land and soon to be the international airport site that means lots of work in the area for many and many years to come, that so-called opposition clowns is only playing politics games with you people just to hurt Dr Skerrit or so they think? Any which way the airport will be built sooner not later.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 27
    • MR DOMINICA
      October 16, 2020

      I Ques you are not from wesley and know nothing about the area but do know the way to the red clinic and looking for your tax payer provided house.You are a brown nose

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 4
    • October 17, 2020

      In the first place the PM is not a doctor so try to use the logo correctly. Next can you or the PM tell the public what is wrong with the first site for the airport, I don’t understand my fellow Dominicans especially those at home they don’t read or double check the statements uttered from any member of the Government especially the PM instead all they do is talk talk and blame blame that’s what they do best.. Mr.PM tell the masses what is wrong with the previous site after all it’s government land can you explain to us because it’s confusing not only to the people of Wesley but to the whole island. We all want the airport and don’t believe any one is against the airport but what about the first site and if you don’t use it what are you going to do with the land will you put it up for sale? .

    • Braindamage
      October 18, 2020

      @dog bites man, Skerrit and his liars keep on lying to people..
      Since 20 years ago… mad dog did not born as yet, every 5 years Skerrit lies and promises international airport..

      Check DNO achieves for yourselves !!!

  8. Sixty four thousand per month
    October 16, 2020

    Good initiative. Educate the people, because to date this project does not look like anything close to the development of an international airport. The steps are running upside down, and there must be real concerns for Dominicans.
    Where is the ESIA?
    So Skerrit the maundering and stuttering deciever is buying people’s property even before knowing whether the site is suitable for the project? Wonder what this idiot learnt at school..No wonder we are in that tailspin!!!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2
  9. RoRo
    October 16, 2020

    If I was you I would not hold my breath! Skerrit has no money to built an airport. If he pushes this through, the Chinese will have to built and finance it and that means that Dominica has finally been sold to China.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 5

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