The BVI government has announced measures it says are expected to assist with the decades-old issue of land distribution in Anegada.
According to a recent post-Cabinet statement, government has introduced the concept of creating a new statutory body designed to govern the distribution of lands on the sister island.
The Cabinet statement said the distribution process will be strictly governed by the people of Anegada; as constituted under an amended, future version of the Anegada Advisory Lands Committee (AALC).
It was further decided that the Land and Marine Estate Policy — framework designed to resolve the issues of land distribution and the claims of ancestral lands in Anegada — will serve as the tool to articulate the new institutional arrangements between the AALC and government.
While the paper is currently only in its initial draft stages, Cabinet noted that it is being continually edited to reflect the ongoing dialogue.
The Land and Marine Estate Policy was announced back in October and at the time, Minister for Natural Resources and Anegada’s district representative Vincent Wheatley said: “Since taking office, I have been confronted with numerous unresolved land matters. However, none of the matters was as complex or as long-standing as the Anegada lands issue. Today, I am pleased to say that working very closely with the Anegada people and the Anegada Lands Advisory Committee, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Much work is yet to be done but we remain committed to resolving this matter.”
In a meeting held with government ministers in Anegada at that time, residents expressed frustration at the lack of progress in having the land issues resolved.
Some residents claimed in the meeting that even though they had paid for land titles decades ago, it had not been properly registered in their names at the land registry.
It was also claimed that some lands which were already paid for, were subsequently assigned to others as a result of the reported discrepancies.
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