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Oct 6, 2020

Land Distribution in Camalote; Village Council is Left in the Dark!

Complaints are growing of irregular land distribution contrary to the Village Council Act.  The latest is from the chairman of Camalote Village who is appealing to the forces that are subdividing land in the village to meet to discuss fair distribution.  Chairman Derrick Parham says the project is being done without any consultation with the Village Council. He also points out that it is benefitting a select few, many of whom are close connections to the person leading the scheme. On Monday, News Five visited the area that is being cleared and distributed. Here is the story.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

About ten acres of land were surveyed, cleared down and distributed as house lots in Camalote Village – without the village council’s input. Chairman Derrick Parham says that a highly connected member of the ruling party is leading the subdivision. The land is reportedly being shared out to relatives and associates of this individual – and many of whom are outsiders.

 

Derrick Parham

Derrick Parham, Chairman, Camalote Village

“This is what our council would call an illegal distribution of land. What we are looking at is roughly a ten acre plot that is being given away by one Mister B – what we would use an alias. It was given away to close family, friends and supporters of the ruling party. The village council had no knowledge of what had happened. We were never a part of the process and so up to this time we class it as an illegal distribution.”

 

Parham says his Village Council was never consulted – which he is says is against the Village Council’s Act. The land, according to Derrick Parham, was meant for an expansion project because many of his villagers are in need of land.

 

Derrick Parham

“The people of Central One and Central Two didn’t benefit from this distribution. Like we stated in our position, for almost twenty-years now a subdivision hasn’t taken place in this area and the grassroots people of this area didn’t benefit in no way apart from close family and friends of Mr. B.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Was this land expected to be some sort of expansion to the village?”

 

Derrick Parham

“This was land designated for future expansion for house lots.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“When you have this distribution of land in the village – the village council must be involved?”

 

Derrick Parham

“Must be consulted for a fair distribution and fair process so that who supposed to get the land get it and you don’t have to have the same people getting it over and over again.”

 

Chairman Parham says that he has tried many times to get in touch with the person leading this land distribution in his village – but the man has refused to respond. He says it is an underhanded move that has angered villagers.

 

Derrick Parham

If it wasn’t for some clearing down we wouldn’t have had any knowledge of this. The pillars were in the high bushes and if you would have passed through weeks ago you would have had no knowledge that a distribution like this was taking place. But due to this clearing down you guys can see that the pillars have already been set and the leasing process has already taken place.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“How do villagers feel about this?”

 

Derrick Parham

“Well, the villagers in Central One and Two are really, really upset and disappointed in the process that has taken place.”

 

Parham says that since last year they been unable get an audience with the Commissioner of Lands about other land matters in the village. So, he doesn’t have much hope that this will be sorted out at the Lands Department. He says that with a growing village with a population close to seven thousand people – his people need access to land – and he hopes that some of them can still benefit from this project.

 

Derrick Parham

“We have reached out to our area rep and as he stated, it is almost a fruitless fight because one we can’t get an audience to sit down with Mr B and two we can’t get an audience with the commissioner of lands. So, at this point we just hope that they will use this medium as a consideration to the grass roots people of this area.   If you really notice, people always have to be building in their family land or in their mother or father house lot. Driving around you will see a house or two in one piece of lot because the expansion process took almost these twenty years. So, the need for the land is there and you don’t really have anywhere to really locate.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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