Letters & Opinion

How much of our lands can we give away?

Saint Lucia, by comparison, is more populated than China. It is critical, therefore, for Saint Lucians to find suitable ways of utilizing their land for their own use instead of handing it over to foreigners to generate profit. Saint Lucia has a population of about 183,627 people and a land area of approximately 238.2 square miles. This means, there are about 787 people per square mile in Saint Lucia compared to the estimated 384 people per square mile in China. Saint Lucia is, therefore, twice as populated as China in terms of the number of people per square mile. This further means that land scarcity is a greater reality here than is purported elsewhere.

Of course, Saint Lucia possesses more than 238.2 square miles of land considering how mountainous the island is. However, if we work with the official numbers and were to divide the land equally among the population, there would be less than an acre for each individual. But the reality is… there are private individuals who own in excess of thirty and fifty acres of land in addition to the vast amount of land which belongs to the forest reserve and other protected areas. The question now is, can Saint Lucia really afford to lease hundreds of acres of land to foreign entities to do with as they please? The leasing of the Queen’s Chain to Cabot Links is one example. The question applies not only to the present administration but to every administration after that and to the individuals which support them.

Image of an aerial view of the northern tip of the Cabot development, which has already broken ground in Saint Lucia. [PHOTO: Caribbean Journal]
An aerial view of the northern tip of the Cabot development, which has already broken ground in Saint Lucia. [PHOTO: Caribbean Journal]
While many citizens of Saint Lucia are struggling to own a home or a plot of land, some foreigners who cannot afford to buy property in the ‘inner cities’ of the United States are purchasing homes here in paradise through the Citizenship by Investment program. Land in this country appears to be dished out to foreigners before locals are invited to sit at the table. Land in Saint Lucia is not an unlimited resource regardless of how much certain authorities conveniently pretend that it is. If the pretension continues, it may lead us down a path where we will discover that not every Saint Lucian can afford to own a plot of land in their homeland. And this would be contrary to the goal of Invest Saint Lucia in ensuring that every Saint Lucian, or “95 % of our citizenry” has the opportunity to own a home. Better land management by Government authorities is an absolute necessity if we are going to protect the heritage of future generations. Again, considering the size of Saint Lucia’s population and the limited land available, can Saint Lucia afford to continue leasing hundreds of acres of land to foreign entities?

And for those who have forgotten the National Motto of Saint Lucia, it is “The LAND, the PEOPLE, and the LIGHT.”

Allen is a reporter employed at The Voice Publishing Company. He has had a passion for reading, writing, story telling and theater for as long as he can remember. His interest in history, philosophy and the human condition, have inspired him to think deeply about life which has in turn given him many things to write about. He enjoys writing articles which educate, inspire, and enlighten the reader; and articles which provoke the reader to look at things from a fresh and different perspective.Read full bio...

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