Yesterday, People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Leader, Aubrey Norton, and members of the Party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) met with West Coast Berbice villagers from Belladrum, Eldorado, Paradise, Golden Fleece and Weldaad to listen and advise on their complaints about the government’s alleged attempt to confiscate their transported and ancestral lands without proper consultation and compensation.
According to the PNCR, the government has embarked on the construction of a new canal to drain 8,000 acres of rice lands at the back of Belladrum into the Abary River. The project not only passes through the properties legally owned by villagers, but could potentially flood large portions of their farmlands.
At the meeting yesterday, the PNCR Leader and the CEC team advised the residents that should the executing agency fail to hold adequate consultations and to respect their demands, they should file an injunction in the courts to suspend the canal construction to reassert their property rights to the transported and ancestral lands in the area.
The party leader pledged the full support of the PNCR in this matter. In mid-January, the Party’s CEC had appointed Ret’d Rear Admiral Gary Best and Ms. Amanza Walton-Desir, two persons with legal training, to provide legal guidance to the villagers on this matter. The villagers were also advised to urgently form a land committee.