YIDA development troubles Parham residents

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Residents of Parham have expressed concerns about the effect the proposed YIDA development of the North East Marine Management Area (NEMMA) will have on their seafaring community.
Fishermen in particular are worried about the threat that some of the proposed zones and activities could pose to their livelihood and the survival of local marine life. The development is proposed to take place in the protected marine site in the North sound area.
A local small craft operator who fishes for personal consumption on a regular basis expressed his fears about the destruction of the mangrove forests. He told this reporter, “I don’t see how the Department of Environment can approve this. They can’t.”
An employee of the Parham Fisheries Complex said she felt that the Development Control Authority (DCA) would be “out of order” to approve a project of this magnitude given the significance of the lands in question.
Another resident, primarily concerned about marginalisation of the local community, told OBSERVER media that camping and nature trips to the NEMMA are local past-times for many constituents of St Peter and St Philip North.  He stated, “That’s our pleasure: to go up there every Easter, every summertime whenever we have a little holiday. That’s where we go to enjoy, group up and get together. That’s a traditional thing throughout the years.”
A lack of public consultation was also a point of contention for the people of Parham. “Nobody ever come and say anything, not even our minister so I don’t really know what’s going on,” another resident said. This sentiment was expressed consistently among the numerous individuals interviewed.
This fresh wave of apprehension about the YIDA project follows alarms raised by environmentalist Foster Derrick and others, including archeologist Dr Reginald Murphy. In addition, the Deputy Chief Town & Country Planner, Clement Antonio, said inspectors were sent on March 7, 2017 to investigate the widespread clearing of brush at the YIDA development site.
While the clearing activity was technically legal, controversy formed because the Chinese developers failed to inform the DCA of their intentions. This meant that the clearing operations took place without any oversight by the appropriate DCA staff.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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