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Bannister: You’Re Going To See Definite Movement On Andros Shanty Towns

Minister of Works Desmond Bannister.

Minister of Works Desmond Bannister.

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

WORKS Minister Desmond Bannister on Friday pledged that the government will take the necessary action to deal with unregulated developments on Andros, saying Bahamians can expect to see “definite movement” on the matter soon.

“Cabinet has made some decisions on the shanty towns in Andros,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Andros. “You’re going to see some definite movement. There is someone who knows the areas well and who's going to be appointed to explore all of the areas where the shanty towns are and someone who has the skills to demolish old buildings, so in Andros, Cabinet has dealt with the issue.”

Last year, Mr Bannister – along with members on his team – visited Andros to assess the communities for themselves to see what was actually happening on the ground.

The assessment came after concerns were raised by Andros residents about the communities, with some telling this newspaper that the illegal structures were reportedly being built on Crown land.

Last February, the government issued eviction notices to Andros residents living in illegal structures, a move estimated to possibly displace some 1,800 people.

The notices expired in March 2020. It is not clear how many residents are still living in unregulated communities in Andros.

However, Agriculture and Marine Resources Minister Michael Pintard told reporters last October that the number of shanty town dwellers has since “dwindled”, though he could not say to what extent.

At the time, he also revealed his ministry’s plans to restore government Crown land on Andros for its intended purpose, which is farming.

Mr Pintard said: “The committee continues to work within the guidelines set by the Office of the Attorney General while the numbers of illegal immigrants in the unregulated development have dwindled, we are still pressing ahead to eliminate unregulated development that have persons of different nationalities, inclusive of Bahamians, and we intend to restore agriculture land for the purpose it was intended and that is farming by registered and approved farmers.”

Meanwhile, as it relates to shantytowns on Abaco, the deputy prime minister told reporters on Friday that he and officials planned to visit the island next month to assess the situation there.

This comes after new aerial surveillance, circulated online this week, shows new construction taking place in the Farm Road area located in the Treasure Cay community.

Residents there have been sounding the alarm about the issue for months, noting that the issue, if not dealt with soon, could mirror the pre-Dorian situation which saw several large unregulated shanty towns on the island.

Chairman of Treasure Cay local government Stephanie Hield had previously told The Tribune that she estimated that some 400 illegal structures have been constructed in the Farm Road shanty town since Hurricane Dorian in 2019.

Comments

ohdrap4 1 month, 1 week ago

As soon as they finish demolishing the farm road in abaco.

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TalRussell 1 month, 1 week ago

I'm calling out the crown minister for his hypocrisy of purporting that he's been anything but a bystander - looking in from the sidelines at each and every step in the illegal development our colony's dosens of Shantytowns, including on Andros.
Comrade Everette's, claims that Androsians can expect to see “definite movement by the cabinet” on the shantytowns matter, soon, IS 'absurd,"
But for an act of God, all of Abaco's shantytowns would still be popoulacelated as full functioning communities. Yes, all as to this very day the Abaco's are not without its fully popoulacelated shantytowns. Shakehead a quick once for Upyeahvote cannot just be making such nonsense up. Shake twice for Not?

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bahamianson 1 month, 1 week ago

" movement on Andros Shanty Towns'' , stop playing. Much respect for Andros and any other island that suffers from these shanty towns. Cowpen Road has many shanty towns . There is a whole country in Cowpen Road. I am a Bahamian , and my family has been farming in the Cowpen Road area for over 60 years. I wanted to continue in my father's and grandfather's footsteps. However, how can you function when your goats, sheep , chickens, pumps and bananas are constantly being stolen? The good police force , defense force and immigration departments have not done anything substantial to stop the constant building of these shanty towns. The people shop on the farms in Cowpen Road. When I say shop, they come with their baskets , steal, and not pay. You cannot make a living in farming in Cowpen road. The new countrymen wont allow it. Government, continue to kick the can down the road as this country goes to hell. we are supposed to get better, but in this country , things are only getting worse.

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bogart 1 month, 1 week ago

The Agriculture industry should be at the top levels for survival of the nation. Along with the huge push in this direction by Administration should be the increased punishments to deter those criminals from sabotaging and derailing the works of growers of Agriculture.

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tribanon 1 month, 1 week ago

The Bahamian people know only too well that 'hand on hips' Bannister is all talk and no do. Much like Minnis!

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TalRussell 1 month, 1 week ago

Wipe any smile from the face if anyone thinks it doesn't pays to stay employed on colony's PopoulacesPurse with a car, chauffeur, security detail, American Express, etc in tow - whilst their own constituents are left be scrounging around the house for sufficient cash to go food shopping for tin corned beef and box grits at one Grocer Rupert's stores?
Cry shame for what they should be thinking as they're chauffered out and about and drive-by constituents out walking making their way over to Comrade Grocer over Grocer Rubpert's store?
Time has arrived to park those chauffeured cars. Shakehead a quick once for Upyeahvote cannot just be making such nonsense up. Shake twice for Not

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The_Oracle 1 month ago

The political class are turning the whole country into a shanty town.

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avidreader 1 month ago

This renewed focus on the existence of specific shanty towns is a true indicator that a general election can be expected, perhaps as early as June of this year. Be prepared.

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