The President of the Environmental Awareness Group (EAG), Tahambay Smith has questioned the motive of residents who expressed concern about the environmental outcomes of the YIDA development project on Guiana Island.
During an OBSERVER AM interview yesterday, Smith said that the Parham residents who met on Tuesday with the EAG are worried about the threat that YIDA poses to their livelihood as well as the survival of the marine life on the offshore island.
“It was heartening hearing residents in Parham raising concerns but is the concern genuine because are [they] really concerned about the development, or is it the concern that [they] are not being employed or [they] haven’t seen any jobs coming [their] way?” Smith said.
“We have a tendency in Antigua where as long as I’m benefitting I don’t really see the problem but if I’m not benefitting, I have issues left, right, and centre.”
The EAG president also said that the problem generated was one where “dialogue and meaningful participation” was lacking and should be included in the discussion “with such a great development in one of our pristine areas.”
Lack of public consultation was also a point of contention for the people of Parham and the meeting sought to assure them that ongoing consultations with all involved parties should be the norm for a development of this magnitude.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)