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Buccament residents upset

Buccament residents upset

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Some residents of Buccament are hopping mad, and are claiming that personnel at the Buccament Bay Resort have placed obstacles in their way, barring them from making a livelihood.{{more}}

Residents are taking the resort to task over a wooden fence that was recently placed just before the bridge at the entrance to the resort.

The residents have also complained of stones and pieces of scrap metal and galvanise, which they say come from work being done on a building at the resort, being thrown into the nearby river. Not only that, fishermen have also voiced their displeasure with the resort for having stones packed “too far out into the sea”, making it difficult for them to fish.

One irate resident, Renrick Quashie, speaking exclusively to SEARCHLIGHT on Saturday, July 23, just outside the resort, said although they welcome the project at Buccament, locals must also benefit from such a project.

Quashie, a fisherman, said they can hardly grab a day’s catch out at sea because the stones get in the way.

“…We are having problems when we throw our nets…we not catching anything…,” Quashie stated.

Holding his fishing net in his hand, Quashie said a 25 pound piece of net costs approximately $460, and now with damaged nets, it is hard to catch any fish.

Adding to his headaches, Quashie said the wooden fence, which was recently constructed, extends to the edge of the beach, and gets in his way.

“…It is blocking us. It is difficult for us now. People use the river to catch tri tri and help to send their children to school…,” he added.

According to Quashie, it is now unsafe for persons to use the river because of the material he claims was dumped there by the resort.

Quashie also claimed that security officers have told residents that they cannot cross the bridge at the resort to get to the beach.

“We need our beach…we also want to take the guys off the block and let them help to supply for their families; this can’t go on like this…” he stressed.

Quashie said he wants a “quick resolve” so that everyone can live in peace and harmony.

Threats of a demonstration were also made by some residents who gathered outside the resort last Saturday. “We go demonstrate here. We want access to we river…Everybody haffo live..”

Another resident, Curt O’Garro, also pleaded his case to SEARCHLIGHT. “We nah war dem kind thing down ya…All kinda stone dey in the river. Is na fisherman alone it affecting, but is all ah we and we need them to do something about it now,” he stated firmly.

In responding to the allegations, Vice President of Operations at the resort, Mark Sawkins, in an e-mail to SEARCHLIGHT, said the fence was erected for safety reasons, “as work has begun to upgrade one of our current restaurants.” He added that the fence will be modified within the next few weeks and gave the assurance that it is not permanent.

Sawkins said that he had never heard complaints about the stones being too far out in the sea. “…This is the first time I hear of this. The wall has been there now for three years,” he stated.

Sawkins also refuted claims that materials are being thrown into the river.

“This is not the case. We employ staff who actually clean the river from garbage coming down the river, further up than our resort starts. It is vital important for us, the river and the river bank remains clean and safe at all times. We also employ a staff member to clean the beaches on the village side.”

According to Sawkins, a short briefing was held with Commissioner of Police Keith Miller, as well as with the Minister of Tourism, and it was agreed that the fence is not an invasion and should remain until further notice.

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