You may recall the land dispute between BGYEA Harmonyville and the department of Lands; you may even remeber the community fighting against the department to keep portions of the land for farming. Government wanted to use to the land for roadways and Harmonyville wanted to plant crops. After an agreement between the two supporters; community members received the land on which the dispute was centred. Now, it would seem that some of the members who eagerly wanted the land was only being what Creoles would call ‘blue konkas’ as the lands are now being made available again since those who had the opportunity to own the parcels have either abandoned their property or refused to pay on them. Love News spoke with President of BGYEA Nigel Petillo.
“We, as a board have met and we looked at the fact that many of our members aren’t developing the lands that have been issued to them here in Harmonyville. We got to understand that they haven’t even been paying the purchase price to the government to make that land title. In some cases it’s four years most of them are over three years now so we have met with the government, the Honorable Godwin Hulse. We spoke about the possibility of canceling those lands and making it possible for other people who deserve a land as well. So right now we have an ongoing research taking place where we are taking a note and finding out who have been making their payments and who have been working on their land and from there we want to move on and make those lands that haven’t been worked on made available to others in Belize.
Petillo was on the media for months trying to acquire these lands for the people of Harmonyville. Petillo says those who received lands knew that had to maintain it. To obtain land, you must be over eighteen, and own no land in Belize. Petillo explained.
“We all came out here crying that we need land, we all came out here crying that we need access to land, we demonstrated to the government that over and over the lands department has been failing us so we came together as an organization and from the get go we made it clear to our members that failure to develop these lands will result in it being taken away. When you hear free things and land grabs and things like that some people will come out of nowhere and act as if they are genuine and in this case you will get those that are not real. So while people might look at it negatively I want people to look at it at a better angle that Belizeans need to stop being dependent, Belizeans need to get up and start doing for themselves and this is a perfect opportunity for someone to own an acre of land for yourself at a very reasonable price, no more than $1,600 could have got you this land. Some people have not cleaned the land and they have this place looking like a bush as if we just went to make noise for nothing but to those of you that have working the land and developing the land we appreciate it and we are proud of you.”
If you are interested in acquiring land in Harmonyville, you would be paying less than two thousand dollars to receive title. Petillo broke down the figures.
“It has always been $575, $400 had been the price of the survey fee, we have a $25 membership fee, $100 contribution toward a bulldozer and a tractor that we definitely need to purchase and $60 maintenance fee, that adds up to $575 dollars. From there after you make that payment we give you a paper to take to the lands department, it is a recommendation letter that qualifies you for an acre of land, the government then issues a lease to you then from there you are required to pay $1000 to make that lease become property, three years is the time frame that they give you for that. After it becomes property it becomes title and it’s yours and that is basically the criteria and the cost for you to end up with that so about $1575 thereabout to own that land in Harmonyville.”
If you are interested in acquiring land at Harmonyville contact Nigel Petillo at 6-7-7-9-8-6-0.