Former Calypso Monarch “Queen Ivena” Expresses Outrage Over Destructive Land Clearing Near Carlisle Bay

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room
Queen Ivena

REAL NEWS: Old Road resident and former Calypso Monarch “Queen Ivena” is distraught and very angry over the clearing of acres of land near Carlisle Bay, where an excavator has been at work for the past two weeks.

Not only Ivena, but other community residents are expressing concern about the wanton destruction of the mangrove area that adjoins the sea – and which is a breeding ground for sea life.

They are concerned about the impact this clearing of the mile-long mangrove swamp will have, as a soil-based trail is now blocking the pathway.

Officials from the Department of the Environment (DoE) and the Development Control Authority (DCA) – which are responsible for approving land development – reportedly have said they knew nothing about the clearing and have promised to visit the site to seewhat is taking place.

According to another news report, a senior environment officer claimed that the DoE learned of the land-clearing operation via a local newspaper article. Further, the Department said it had not received any formal complaint about the matter.

However, on Friday, September 15, Queen Ivena – otherwise known as Lena Phillip – called into Progressive FM to voice her displeasure about what is taking place at Carlisle Bay.

She says that residents were informed that no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study was undertaken before the destructive clearing was undertaken – with mangrove trees being removed and the area covered with stones and other materials.

However, when the developers were confronted, they claimed they had all the relevant documentation, Queen Ivena says.

Now, she adds, in spite of officials from the DCA having visited the site, work has continued at the hillside location.

The Old Road resident complains that a pond in the destruction zone – now filled in with soil – has fed many people through fishing activities.

Accordingly, she notes that the construction of any resort on the hillside will have far-reaching negative implications for the neighbouring villages and residents.

If something is not done urgently, this situation will become an environmental disaster, Queen Ivena warns, since the point at which the sea joins the pond has been blocked with huge boulders.

And, she says, even the livelihood of the village fishermen is being threatened by what appear to be the plans for the area.

Meanwhile, Queen Ivena says, it appears that the Gaston Browne Administration will do anything for money. At the same time that officials are going on the international stage and making pleas in the name of climate change, they are allowing investors to destroy thelocal environment, she charges.

She calls on the relevant government agencies to be more proactive, to stop taking directives from politicians, and to do their jobs without fear or favour.

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