We were stripped of our livelihoods: Augier poultry farmers

By SNO Staff

 Share This On:

13090878_10156849310245298_1495431960_o

Some of the dead animals.

The poultry farmers who have been asked to relocate following complaints made by the Augier Combined School, has expressed disappointment with manner in which the issue was handled.

One of the farmer’s daughter, Vanessa Henry-Eugene, told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) on Sunday that the farmers were “stripped of our livelihoods” without given a suitable alternative.

Henry-Eugene recalled that some six months ago, all of the occupants received a letter stating that they have to relocate their poultry farms because of the stench.

Four months later, another letter was sent, informing the occupants that they had to cease operations.

“How can they cease the operations? What did this mean, considering that this is all they do for a living? They cannot just sell everything. The money will not cover their loans expenses, and sustain them for the rest of their lives. Cease operations and move the animals where?” she questioned.

The upset relative of the farmers told SNO that an order was allegedly sent out by the Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony himself, to have all the animals on the farm removed.

“And as the leader of a country, these law abiding citizens, who were not involved in any illegal operations, were stripped of their livelihoods,” Henry-Eugene complained.

13077238_10156849310310298_780564960_n

Following that order, about one week ago, several big trucks accompanied by police officers went to the farm and began taking the animals away, without the farmers’ knowledge, according to her.

Henry-Eugene said the animals were poorly handled, as they were placed in bags and thrown into the back of a truck in the hot sun. Many of these animals died.

She said the land where the poultry farms are situated, was leased to the family for over 40 years. It was passed down by a father to his children, who encouraged them get involved in agriculture as a means of sustaining themselves.

While one sibling, Nigel William, has been relocated, the three remaining farmers continue to operate on the land. These include: Theresa Henry, Julietta William and Fiana William.

“These people depend solely on their farming to make a living,” Henry-Eugene stressed.

The woman told SNO that while efforts were made to relocate Julietta William, the land which was proposed, has no electricity, water, or road access, and had not been cleared of the high bushes and trees.

“They proposed land, after signing the agreement, had a lease of $2,000 monthly. And since that, the land had not been cleared And with no money to pay a backhoe to clear the land, put roads or have means to transport all her animals, this would mean that she would be paying to lease this land, and not being able to use it. The government agreed to assist but never followed up,” it was explained.

The other two farmers are yet to be offered a spot for relocation.

Education Minister Dr. Robert Lewis had said that while he recognizes that agriculture is an important aspect of life, agriculture practices should not disrupt the education of children.

The Augier Combined School was closed due to foul odour and other pollutants emanating from nearby poultry farms, but the school will be finally reopened on Monday.

Dr. Lewis had said at least two farms were cleaned and a third will be cleaned shortly. However, he noted, that this does not mean that all the issues will be automatically resolved.

(8)(11)
Copyright 2018 St. Lucia News Online. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

25 comments

  1. Lord have mercy!!! Unbelievable!!! CASH is being thrown away all over the place but they couldn't find a better solution! St. Lucia has become a really hard place!!!

    (3)(1)
  2. After reading some of the comments of some of the people who seem to have a good idea of the situation I'd say they got what they deserved though I stand with it being handled wrong, it's true you don't just let people do what they want but they could have neeen charged with something and dealt with in a lawful manner.

    (0)(0)
  3. You cannot have a poultry farm in a residential area . I went to skl at Augier combined and it was terrible . Flies all over the place and the stench . Good Lord . They had been forewarned . Some of us are too quick to lean on the government for assistance that isn't owed to us . The losses that you face today aren't nobody's business . Proper planning would have saved you a whole lot . And it doesn't matter who was there first . This is a learning institution that serves as integral part of the lives of many . Think of the greater good people .

    (2)(1)
  4. Lucians really like Dominicans imagine having an established business, six months is very little time to relocate and get things running again just like my country men allu wicked. This was handled poorly I suspect all labour party is the same

    (2)(1)
  5. LONG OVER DUE!

    (4)(3)
  6. I attended the Augier Combined School also. I am now 40 years old and this stench have been affecting students from the time I was there and before. The Williams family knows about it and had been told to relocate years ago but they never did because of their greed and selfish ways and lack of concern for others.
    The government should have done this a long time ago.
    Good Job Minister.

    (9)(6)
  7. Noob Saibot wins!! Flawless Victory!! Fatality!!

    Two problems here. The school needed a healthy environment that was threatened by the farm, and the farm needed to be relocated. Both sensitive issues should both be solved carefully and quickly. Its hard to see what the real situation was but it can look bad for KDA and may be used against him politically. Also, the farmer highlighted constraints, perhaps they could not do it and needed assistance. We just need the authorities to clarify.

    (4)(1)
  8. there is two sides to every story, since 2011 this prob with stench have been going on. why should kids be suffering so much. I personally think that they were given notice and the refused to move...probably playing politics...LET US THINK ABOUT THE KIDS AND NOT JUST OURSELVES

    (6)(4)
  9. There is really a simple solution. Who was there first, the farm or the school? Who ever was there first should be the one to stay.
    Surely if the school came after it would show the poor foresight by the government and planning.
    If the farm came after, it shows total disregard for their fellow man.
    In any case the party that came there after should be the one to move and fast.
    Which ever way it happened, planning, ministry of health and the district rep should be chastised and or fined to allow such callous health hazards to come about.

    (6)(4)
  10. I'm sry that it had to come to this, it could have been handled better...but really people ..this issue has been going on for soo long.. whether they had notice or not this was something that was inevitable ...they should have prepared themselves years ago...you can't risk the health alot for a few....What matters most is it MONEY or HEALTH?!! If it were y'all getting sick and paying doctor's bills every month..I'm quite sure y'all would be singing a different song!

    (5)(3)
  11. As much as I am hearing about their livelihood. I must ask what are they expectations, I havent heard any word about the three hundred something kids at the school.what I am understanding is like the farmers would prefer the school to not be there so their 'livelihood'can continue which is very selfish if proper care had been given there wouldnt have that problem in the first place.I am tired of hearing about the government when the government isnt tp bw blame for this problem which has been in existence for more than five years.I believe that the farmers are selfish with no heart tp see that school has been cut short due to this problem that keeps on rising.

    (6)(3)
  12. You cant have a chicken farm near a school end of story. You were given advanced warning. Next time follow the zoning laws. Regarding compensation, tax payers arnt liable for your ignorance of the law.

    (3)(4)
  13. Amazing what some of us humans have come to! It's not WHAT happened. It's the INHUMANE treatment that was handed down! The MANNER in which the situation was handled! A lot of people fail to realise we will all have to answer to a higher power one day! They will all be ok though....

    (7)(6)
  14. Those so called farmers have no conscience because is not now that situation has been highlighted.It is years now and the health of neighbors and school children are at risk.How many have to die? Stop being selfish.Att least the prime minister did the right thing even though it is an election year..He did the right thing,
    .Bravo P.M!

    (7)(6)
  15. If what the young lady is say is true. I think the government should have prepared a place forbthe farmers before. I am surprise that this was not done. Equally the farmers should have prepared themselves because its over 5 years that has been going on. You see there is to much politics. The district rep these are his supporters but because it was already have serious implications for him and the government in the up coming elections he took the excutive decision to remove them. I hope they can come to a conclusion on thìs matter.

    (6)(4)
  16. Kenny not for the hard working little man, only for the big shots with money and name, it's ironic these people who own the farm most likely or probably voted for this current party and now has to be treated like animals. As much as I agree the farm was causing a an issue for residents of the community and the school alike it's disheartening this was the manner in which it was handled. Well all I have to say is, this is a very good example of what this government is about. Lucia's take heed and be smart come next general elections, cause you could be next.

    (6)(7)
    • They do not own the farm. They leased it yet never paid so please know your facts before speaking on issues. And how are they being treated like animals? It seems you prefer the kids and the teachers to suffer over a few farmers? They were given plenty of notice or did you not read that either.

      (1)(2)
    • let's be forward thinking

      Are you for real? First off, the farmers did not own the land. In fact, they were meant to lease it but never paid for years while they have clearly been making a profit. Secondly, who is treating who like animals? Based on what you say I suppose the children and teachers of the school should be left in that deplorable condition? The farmers received plenty of notice but refused to comply with the request to relocate the farm. So before you speak, make sure you have all the facts!

      (1)(2)
  17. Regardless. Let's think of the birds. The removal should have been by the ministry of agriculture in a orifesdionsl manner. No just dumping of the birds on trucks.
    There should have been animal officers handling every aspect of the transfer of the birds. They are not only live animals but the source of income for the farmers.

    Is this how government makes up for their long overdue action? By now taking it out on the poor animals and farmers. Is it just because of elections

    (8)(4)
  18. This is very sad .st.lucian government need to handle things better. Thanks.

    (15)(25)
  19. They full of scrap, come on people think about it and tell me. All the williams and their grandkids attended the augier combined school. Speak the truth please the entire family was given notice and even then come on look at it on the bright side ain't the school children have a life, all these people care about is money, money and to hell with others. The entire family attended this school so move on and go else where to make a living, no one is preventing you'll from eating. I guess you'll rather hear the kids die one by one with such stingy odor. First of all that farm should have been remove years ago. Like it or not our kids are the future of tomorrow.......

    (36)(11)
  20. It just so sad that we have a government with absolutely no vision. They are so good at partisan propagander but when it comes developmental issues they are bankcrupt. For the length of this this issue kept circulating in the media if the government had any sensetivity towards the plight of the teachers and students as well as the plight of the farmers this level of high-handedness would never raise its ugly head. KDA you have failed this country miserably.

    (39)(39)
  21. Omg This is so.unfair silly season again. why was it only those ppl who got affect ive known this farm and area for about 5 years they so not right stripping persons of their fair means of income,is not wat we do is hw we do it so unbelievable and worst yet knocking on the doors of ppl i know all these things that we do on earth we gonna pay for it right there i cyah see and don't like whe injustice is done to ppl

    (16)(13)
  22. Proper protocol was followed . Adequate warning was given but was apparently not taken seriously by the complainant. The health and education of the school children and teachers outweigh their losses. All these years of operation means that their operation was sustainable and possibly very profitable. Everyone is always looking out for government handouts.

    (35)(15)
  23. what bull that woman talking six months you all got notice you all did not try to move another four months you all did not even made an attempt to move yet was that not enough time that was given ?

    (30)(6)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.