A GROUP of Current Islanders assembled in front of the Department of Lands and Surveys yesterday to protest what they claim is the government’s infringement of their property rights.
The small North Eleuthera community of Current Island is made up of 40 people who say their ancestors have occupied the island for more than four generations.
They claim the government has recently started surveying the island – which has always been regarded as commonage property – in an attempt to parcel it off and label it Crown Land.
According to Current Island Development Association (CIDA) vice-president George Taylor, a formal application to register a commonage on the island was denied.
CIDA claims it was advised by the government that historical records and an early occupation survey of the area did not reveal any legally recognised commonage. “Sad to say four decades later, we are still fighting for our sovereign rights,” he said.
Now that the government is surveying the land and referring to it as Crown Land, the locals are worried it will be sold and developed.