Development Conflicts in the Caribbean

In response to a recent tweet from the CaribJournal that we relayed to some of our e-mail groups, we got the following tongue-in-cheek response to the linked press release extolling the completion of four units of the Zemi Beach (Anguilla) luxury residential project:

Anguilla’s @zemibeach Project Completes First Four Homes… #anguilla

[In case you were wondering, this is a Zemi

The writer of this tirade describes himself as “a frightened Anguillian who has received threats”

“[The article] is also an example of the misuse of Twitter to promote lies and hype.”

The four units were completed last year.  The present announcement is non-news.

As I understand it, they sit there unsold because selling $3 million condos isn’t going so well on an island where Chief Minister Hubert Hughes loudly announces that war has been declared on the evil British and complete political independence is the only solution to what he calls oppression, slavery and genocide.

In November, the construction site was raided by the Immigration Task Force.  Many Spanish-speaking workers were taken away and all construction stopped for months. Both the developer and government have failed to respond to questions, except to predict various conflicting completion dates for the project.

The number of proposed units per acre rivals, in my opinion, slum dwellings.  Our Chief Minister defines a good project as one which has the most units per acre.

Our beloved leader’s memorable comments rival those of the developer:


“Developed with sustainability in mind. The backers of Zemi Beach are committed to following best practices in respect to the land and the people of Anguilla:

“The construction remains environmentally conscious, minimizing resources and avoiding heavy emissions and excess waste.”

Zemi Beach has stripped every leaf, every blade of grass, from their 6+ acres of land next to the Fountain National Park. As the land slopes down to the beach, this seems likely to create a river of mud the next time there’s a sustained, heavy rain, which will disperse out toward the reefs. Siltation kills reefs. Dead reefs don’t support fish.

What is Planning doing? What is the Dept. of Environment doing? What is Tourism doing?

Everything is concealed in secrecy.

***** ends *****

Here’s an example — this from the north coast of Tortola in 2010 —  of the kind of “river of mud” the frightened Anguillian refers to. . . .

sediment runoff2

About Bruce

Work for sustainable development of small islands and the Chesapeake Bay; ex-Peace Corps (Volunteer and staff) in LA & Caribbean; cruised Caribbean on S/Y Meander for three years; like small tropical islands, French canals, Umbria, Tasmania, and NZ. Married 52 years to the late Kincey Burdett Potter (see President of the now-sunsetting Island Resources Foundation.
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