Developing the District
Development is coming to the Scotland District. That is, if the Barbados Labour Party is elected as Government on February 21.
This was one of the proposals revealed in their election manifesto with reference to the agricultural sector aimed at reversing the downward spiral, which it said was caused by the Democratic Labour Party administration and to “increase its contribution to the growth and development of the country”.
The BLP pledged to invest $35 million over five years in stabilising the Scotland District, provide incentives and support to persons engaging in sustainable agriculture, provide technical assistance and establish a “soft loan facility” to house owners in the Scotland District for the purpose of mitigating the effect of slippage by installation of proper drainage, stabilisation or retention works, give the Scotland District Authority the remit and the resources to fully rehabilitate the road and bridge network in the district as well as bring into force the Scotland District Authority Act of 2007.
Some of these measures, the document stated, were to be previously implemented but when the DLP were elected as Government they abandoned the plans and ignored the proposals it further suggested negatively impact of the Scotland District.
“Stabilisation will permit existing residents and land owners to continue to reside in the Scotland District, thereby reducing the pressure for even more housing in the other areas of Barbados that are already very heavily populated,” it said.
“Not to stabilise the Scotland District will see residents of this area moving to other parts of Barbados. Any such abandonment of the district would result in the death of these rural communities, with the resulting demise of churches, shops, and even our rural schools.
“If the Scotland District is not stabilised the property values in the area will plummet. It is an area that is ripe for sensible and innovative agriculture given its high annual rainfall. It is also a vital pillar in Barbados’ tourism product. Stabilisation of the Scotland District will therefore allow us to maximise our use of our scarce land resources.”
The document adds: “Our rural network of roads and bridges is also under serious threat as the result of slippage. If this is not quickly addressed, access to this most picturesque part of Barbados by Barbadians and visitors will become problematic. We can ill afford to lose out on the opportunities of enjoying our greatest natural resource, our scenic vistas and wonderful rural living.” the manifesto further noted. (KC)