According to Minister Henry, given the context of Jamaica’s plantation history: the dispossession of a vast majority of the population and their subjection to severe levels of inter-generational poverty, secure access and provable ownership of land are fundamental to breaking this cycle of poverty.
He bemoans the fact that thousands of persons within the bauxite belt parishes have exchanged their lands with the bauxite mining companies for alternate lands in company built sub-divisions, but after many years have no proof of ownership.
Numerous affected persons have complained that in some cases upwards of 30 years have elapsed without them being able to obtain their land titles from the bauxite companies.
Minister Henry says the situation is untenable and creates a range of problems for the settlers, their families, dependents and by extension the wider economy. He says the value of the lands cannot be formally and properly realized without the titles being available to the owners. The problem is further compounded by persons who are sub-dividing and even selling the lands for which they have no titles.
Minister Henry was addressing The Bauxite Lands Land Titling Committee (BLLTC) at his Maxfield Avenue Office this morning