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An open letter on behalf of landowners who have not been paid compensation for lands acquired under the Geothermal Development Project

An Open Letter…

I believe that I speak on behalf of ALL landowners in Laudat who have not been paid by the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica (GoCD) through the Dominica Geothermal Development Company (DGDC) Limited vis-à-vis the Geothermal Development Project.

I am one of the (22) twenty-two Project Affected Persons (PAPs) ie landowners in Laudat that will accommodate the Geothermal Reinjection Pipeline.

I first received correspondence from the DGDC on 24 August 2020, stating that the Lands and Surveys Division would contact me.

On 27 April 2021, I received an email from the Lands and Surveys Division with an offer for compensation of land acquired. I accepted the offer on the same date, albeit I did not receive any acknowledgement!

After chasing up for months, I finally received an email on 2 September 2021and I was instructed to complete the Agreement Form and return it to the Lands and Surveys Division. On 10 September 2021, I sent the completed and notarised Agreement Form via email and submitted the hard copy on 4 October 2021.

On 13 October 2022, after chasing up for months with the Treasury Department, I was then told that I needed a letter from the Lands and Surveys Division. I went to the Lands and Surveys Division and they were a bit clueless at first and then after enquiring they confirmed that they have to issue the letter. I was told that they will contact me when it’s available.

On 14 October 2022, the Lands and Surveys Division rang me and stated I needed to submit the original Certificate of Title in order to issue the letter. I submitted the original Certificate of Title on 26 October 2022. NB I keep chasing up with both the Lands and Surveys Division and the Treasury Department.

On 27 April 2023, I was told that there is a cheque stating PAID and awaiting CLEARANCE. I have been chasing up ever since and still nothing. I was even told to await the BUDGET on 26 July 2023! Even though I’ve chased up since, I’m still waiting…

It is interesting to note that the project which is partly funded by the World Bank states on its website for the project operations/project-detail/P162149, that there were (3) three Disbursements in 2022 and (4) four in 2023 (See below).

According to the DGDC Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) dated December 2021 (updated) which is available on their website, the RAP Implementation Schedule has not been implemented – pun intended (See below).

I am certain that my fellow landowners are going through the wringer as well. So, my question is this, when will we be paid? May I remind you that it’s OUR land and it’s time “the powers that be” stop pussyfooting and pay us! We are not beggars…