For too long the politicians have been giving signals to squatters in order to gain political mileage to squat on state lands, throughout the length and breadth of Grenada.
These persons have squatted on so many government lands including prime lots, which could have been used for serious business development that could have benefited us as we fight for economic independence and food security but on the contrary leaving much of this country’s deprived of its most important natural resource .
Today squatters in Grenada have gotten away with such disregard for law as it relates to the squatting of state lands, which cannot happen in most Caribbean islands to that magnitude.
At present, Guyana and Antigua are seriously taking a no nonsense approach, in addressing this menace by removing squatters from state lands.
Grenada is only 21 x 12 miles 344 Sq. Kilometers and Grenada’s Crown land stock has been dwindled from approx. 94,000 acres to just about 30, 000 acres today.
If we continue with this practice, Grenada will be left with limited foreign investment options as it relates to lands scarcity.
We are only hurting this country and its future development as a nation, in a serious way, thanks to some short-sighted politicians who turn a blind eye to the problem of squatting.
Up till now Grenada does not have a serious land use policy in place or being enforce if there is one .
Government should have recognised this serious social problem and addressed the situation a long time ago by constructing low income houses.
I say this although I have observed that some of these houses have been built or contributed by the Venezuelans, but it is totally inadequate.
This problem with squatting is a burning issue that must be given top priority. Let us take a serious look at the Squatting problem!
For example, Pearls Airport where some of the most priceless artifacts have been vandalized and sold on the street corners by squatters for erecting their houses.
This problem should have been quickly addressed by the our heritage/cultural foundation to ensure the preservation of our indigenous people, which may never be recovered on another part of the island.
This heritage should have been stored at the national museum since some of these artifacts are dating back to approx.. 700 A.D.
Let us look at the most prevalent squatting zone which is in the south of the island precisely Frequente in the Grand Anse area.
While I do understand that squatting is a serious social problem and not just in Grenada but in almost every other place in the world, but in Grenada this is much more tolerant .
The island is just too small for that, and we have to seriously think of the generations to come, who will be limited when it comes to land resource.
Imagine that I was talking to a squatter who told me that all lands is Jah Lands – these people have no regards for state property ,law and order ,- and that speaks volume to me.
In retrospect, we have to remember that it is squatters and the informal and illegal settlements that breed slums which in turn breeds crimes thus contributing to social problems, costing the taxpayers millions of dollars.
It should also be noted that in most cases, squatting is encouraged by politicians who do not understand their true role when holding public office as political directorate and policymakers.
It is time we get out of petty politics and take this country forward in the best interest for all Grenadians, inspite of race, class, color, or political affiliation.
We need to break the cycle of political tribalism and genuinely advance this country, irrespective of which political party you may choose to support.