Secretive Barbados Government Does Everything It Can To Deny Public Information To Citizens
The Government of Barbados has just completed using GPS satellite technology to digitally map the country. When this information is combined with satellite photographs and existing maps it provides an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to locate and closely define the exact positions of land boundaries, buildings and other features on the island. Access to this information would allow citizens to hold government officials accountable for the many schemes and violations of law that we have seen over the years – especially in relation to public lands.
So it is no wonder that the government will now hide the information from the citizens of Barbados.
There is also an inventory of government lands and buildings that exists, but the Government of Barbados sees no reason why any citizen should have access to that list either.
Pray tell us, Mr. Prime Minister, why the people of Barbados should continually have to beg for knowledge about what lands they own, and to whom our lands are sold and under what circumstances?
In this day such information could easily be posted on the web for all citizens to access. It could be posted on the web tomorrow with the push of a button.
But that would foil the strategy of the political and business elites in this country – who have for so long made money from the people’s land and resources. The elites will do anything to maintain their exclusive access to what should be public knowledge.
from The Nation News…
Farley: Digital mapping a step up
Published on: 7/11/07.
GOVERNMENT has completed the digital mapping of Barbados with the satellite technology offering an accuracy of half-a-metre or 18 inches.
This was disclosed yesterday by Minister of Housing and Lands Reginald Farley as he introduced a pair of resolutions in the House of Assembly to vest lands at two locations in St James in the National Housing Corporation (NHC) for their sale or lease.
The first was to approve the vesting of 781.6 square metres of land and a dwelling house at 42 Paradise Heights, formerly occupied by the top executive of the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD); while the second was to vest the 10 651 square feet and a dwelling house at 92 Wanstead Terrace, formerly occupied by a consultant at the Psychiatric Hospital.
Responding to calls from both sides of the House for there to be an inventory of Government lands, Farley pointed out that one did in fact exist, and contained about 2 600 listings, while the Crown owned about 478 buildings.
“The Lands and Surveys Department has completed the digital mapping of Barbados,” Farley said, “so that [for] all of Barbados, you can have down to an accuracy of half-a-metre – 18 inches – and you can take approximate measurements to do several scenarios.
“What we are seeking to do now by way of an enhanced land management system is to put that information on top of the geographic information system. And we will be overlaying on top of that base map, the registered survey plans for the Lands and Surveys department, the Land Tax information and all other relevant information.
“So that within the ministry you will be able at the click of a mouse to go onto a parcel of land to find out information about ownership – whether it is owned by Government or someone else; you will be able to get contour information [that is] height, depth, slopes; [and] you will be able to get the information on how it is zoned.”
Farley said with the inventory in place, what was required was more effective policing of Government lands to make sure they were used for the intended purpose and that unauthorised people do not have access to those lands.
“Quite frankly,” he added, “too often when lands have to be surveyed either for sale or lease or for some form of development, it is then discovered there is some form of encroachment.”