The Amerindian community at Four Miles, Port Kaituma, North West District has an invasion of cows and they are destroying our agricultural crops on which we depend for a living. These cows are owned by Coastlanders, and when we speak to them about what their cows are doing to our crops they want us to prove to them that it is their cows which are doing the damage.
We complained to the police and the Community Development Officer (CDO), but we have not received satisfactory answers to our complaints. At this stage we do not know how the authorities manage the affairs of this sub-region. I therefore wish to bring this matter to the attention of both the Ministers of Amerindian Affairs and Local Government for their intervention and resolution.
Another burning issue that is affecting our community is that the cow owners have built a fence on community lands without the permission of the Community Council and residents, and are disrespectful to them. This fence is preventing the residents of our community from conducting their cultural and traditional activities and constitutes a fundamental violation of our rights as indigenous peoples. According to the cattle-owners the fence serves as a barrier to the cows entering our community. This explanation is rejected by the community which is demanding that the cattle-owners pull down the fence immediately.
The community wishes to bring this matter also to the attention of the Minister of Amerindian Affairs for her intervention and resolution. In the event this matter is not solved we will be approaching President Bharrat Jagdeo to assist us with our problems.
We are sending a copy of this letter to Ms Mary Williams, Regional Executive Officer of Region 1 for any comments she might wish to make.