The destruction of part of the fence of the communal pasture in Vieux-Fort to make way for the Desert Star Holding (DSH) project has already cost cattle farmers occupying the pasture.
About a week after the destruction of the fence by workers on the project, the cattle which were reared in the pasture, destroyed crops at a nearby farm, which resulted in its owner claiming $600 in damages from the cattle owners.
In an interview with this reporter, Williams Kisna, a cattle farmer, said they have already paid the affected farmer $300 and will be paying the balance later. He said they have negotiated with the farmer for a reduction in the cost of the damages by $100.
According to Kisna, who said he had 16 cows in the pasture, the situation is frustrating.
He said no one in authority had informed them that they will be destroying the fence.
Errol Johnny, another cattle farmer, said: “When our cattle are out of the fence it can cause vehicular accident, resulting in the police shooting them… The destruction of the fence is badly affecting us.”
He said he had five cows in the pasture and has no idea where they are at the moment.
According to Johnny, the communal pasture over the years has led to a reduction in the number of vehicular accidents caused by cattle on public roads.
However, workers on the DSH project have begun to repair the part of the fence which they had destroyed a few weeks ago.
Between 10 and 12 cattle farmers currently occupy the pasture. They have been occupying the pasture for a number of years.
Earlier this week, in a press release, Dr. Kenny Anthony, parliamentary representative for Vieux-Fort South, described the destruction of the fence as “outrageous and totally unacceptable”.