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Evictions To Follow As Census Completed

Labour Minister Dion Foulkes.

Labour Minister Dion Foulkes.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

THE government’s shanty town census in New Providence has been completed, Labour Minister Dion Foulkes announced, as the government prepares to evict residents from homes in these illegal communities.

Before eviction notices are handed out, officials plan to hold public meetings – one in Carmichael Road - to inform the public of the government’s timeline to conduct certain activity, Mr Foulkes, chairman of the government appointed shanty town committee, told reporters yesterday.

He said he also plans to meet with the lease owners of the land where the shanty towns are built to advise these persons of the notice period to have them take legal action.

Mr Foulkes said a similar survey will begin in Abaco at The Mud and Pigeon Pea shanty towns at some point in the middle of this month.

He gave this update before heading into yesterday’s Cabinet meeting.

“(The eviction notices are) a legal requirement that’s done by the Attorney General’s Office and the Ministry of Works,” Mr Foulkes said in response to a question from The Tribune on whether notices have been sent. “But there are certain time periods that have to be given and those notices will be given with those authorities.”

Earlier in the interview he said: “We went out on three consecutive weekends including last weekend. The surveys are completed. We have supplied the information to the Department of Statistics and they are in the process of compiling the information.

“Hopefully we will have a report for you maybe next week Wednesday because I want to present the results to Cabinet first and we do intend to make public all of the information.

“I have some preliminary results, but it’s like 80 per cent (of) the results that I currently have so we can tell everyone exactly what our timeline is what the notice period is in terms of what it is for the residents to move.

“Our next step is to do some public meetings especially in the Carmichael Road area. We intend to have two town hall meetings - one in the shanty towns themselves and another one for the subdivisions around the shanty towns - so we can tell everybody exactly what our timetable is, what the notice period is in terms of for the residents to move and we are also having a meeting with all of the lease holders of the land of the shanty towns.

“They are all Bahamians so we intend over the next week or so to have a meeting with them to advise them of the notice period to have them take certain legal action.”

There are 11 shanty towns in New Providence – eight of which are in the southwest part of the island and the remaining three in the eastern district.

Four others are in Grand Bahama along with several shanty towns in North Eleuthera, North Andros and Abaco.

After much delay, the shanty town survey began last month with the minister declaring that any structure not meeting the building code would be demolished.

Back in March he told The Tribune that officials would use the summer months so as not to disrupt the academic year of children who are enrolled in school. This, he said, was in a bid to treat the issue with sensitivity.

Through a 13-question survey, the government sought to ascertain how many residents are in each shanty town, the age groups, whether the children are in school and whether there are any people living there with disabilities among other things.

Comments

TheMadHatter 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Hot air and fluff The billy goat's gruff

Abaco Haitians woke up this morning to read jokes.

Nobody can touch them. They have every alphabet combo international cry-baby group on their side.

Not ONE employer fined yet since election. Until you cut off the flow of money - you gats to be jokin.

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joeblow 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Forget evictions, how may illegals were found and when will they be seen by a magistrate and repatriated?

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TalRussell 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Ma Comrades, before Minister Dion done his censuses, town halls meetings and consultations - the residents Shantytowns will soon get move into they own Imperial red government built and financed new homes - I guess this is the rewards for their years contributions to illegal shantytowns gets while the 91,409 voting in 10th May 2017 general elections - get squat. Comrades, me done hearing street talk about how they ready write the illegal slum landlord offenders - hefty public purse cheques as compensation loss rents revenues? { Impossible even begin make up this and the over-da-hiil economic everything for free zone kinds asshole imperial nonsenses }

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DDK 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Amazingly, it APPEARS that appropriate action is finally being taken!

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John 4 months, 3 weeks ago

The solution to the shanty town problem begins with easing the housing shortages in the affested areas, and make housing more affordable and more accessible. Many that live in the shanty towns are otherwise homeless.

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Alex_Charles 4 months, 3 weeks ago

If anyone is found to have illegally immigrated then they should also be processed and deported.

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John 4 months, 3 weeks ago

And the thing about it is some people in Bain and Grants Town and Centerville and Englerston and The Grove are living no better off than the people in the shantytowns. They have no electricity, no running water outside toilets no cable or internet. The roofs leak and the house is barely standing . And yes the ‘over-the// hill ‘ initiative is a great idea as long as it does not sell persons pipe dreams or false reality. Government can help you get a job and get a roof over your head but they are not prepared to get you a home in Stapleton or Cable Beach. They will help get you on your feet but you have to help yourself to keep standing. The reality for some is Bain or Grants Town or Centerville will always be the only home they ever know. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Many of our leaders came out of those areas. What’s wrong though is allowing these areas to become run down and delapidated. Crime and drug infested. A community effort can eliminate the outside toilet and keep the lights on and the water running. Shared internal on the parks is a great idea. And the spirit of sharing and community mindedness is what makes so many people able to survive in the shantytowns.

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screwedbahamian 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Why we are always told what is going to be done, ( INTENDED ACTION) instead of what has been done (ACTION). Who are these slum lords, what penalties HAVE BEEN levied against them. Are the persons living in these towns, Legal registered employed immigrants, are they Illegal Immigrants who are in immigration custody awaiting deportation. Or is this another " YOU MUST BE REGISTERED BY DECEMBER 31 , 2017 OR YOU WILL BE DEPORTED BACK TO YOUR COUNTRY POST HASTE , Band-Aid talk too????

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