Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Problems with the Neighbours Next Door - By Dianne Collins

My backyard is often a venue for a family gathering to enjoy food, young ones playing, some females grooming their young and a bit of discord between two adult members (well what family does not have a falling out between its members from time to time!). The gathering is taking place in my backyard, this family is never invited, but they come over from time to time anyway. This family gathering is by a troop of monkeys that live next door on a vacant lot which is overgrown with acacia trees and various bushes.
I know they live next door as I can often hear them early in the morning communicating with each other. The monkeys for the most part have abandoned the mountains and are living amongst us now observing us as we are observing them. I feel as if I am living in a zoo and the monkeys are coming to watch me. When I moved on to my property there were about twenty of them, now this year there are about forty of them including ten babies (that I was able to count).
Decades ago I noticed if one shouted at the monkeys they would run away and not come back for the rest of the day. But in my experience now when I shout at them and go back into my house they are back in the yard in a matter of minutes.
With increasing numbers comes a great competition for food and the tribe from next door have made my property their territory (as we know animals are territorial) and do not allow any interlopers to visit. I once watched a tense stand-off between a huge adult monkey and two younger monkeys, the older monkey was attempting to come onto my property and he tried intimidating them by standing on his hind legs and making threatening noises, the younger monkeys were not impressed with his posturing and his attempt to enter my land was thwarted. Although there is only a Tamarind tree and a Soursop tree on my property, they often come with food to eat obtained from adjacent properties. Perhaps they find the atmosphere on my property more pleasant even though I continually try to chase them away.
Aspects of their behaviour are beginning to alarm me. Three incidents on my property come to mind: one day a monkey was holding onto the window ledge looking into my bedroom (I had just finished cooking food), another time I was hanging clothes on the line and a monkey stood on his hind legs watching me at close range and finally on the 6th of February 2012 I had just taken clothes off the line and from a short distance I shouted at the young monkeys in the Tamarind tree, then I saw an adult monkey near the fence looking at me and making threatening noises. I looked up at the tree and saw that one young monkey did not leave the tree. The adult monkey ran towards me. I ran onto the front porch, meanwhile the monkey escorted the young one next door and to my amazement the adult monkey came back and stood in front of the porch making further threatening noises at me. I was fortunate that I was not attacked.
Occasionally I ask people if they have problems with monkeys and most of them have stories to tell, we have a laugh but we all acknowledge that this issue is no laughing matter. We all know that some farmers have problems with monkeys. All the tourists who visit Nevis like to see the monkeys as in their home countries they can only observe monkeys in a zoo, but they are not aware of the havoc monkeys can cause: eating crops, eating flowers, attacking and killing dogs, entering into people’s houses etc. Someone told me recently that part of the problem is that the monkeys do not have any animal predators which would keep their numbers in check. As a result the monkeys have developed a sort of self-confidence and skills in coping with dogs.  Other countries such as the U.K. and Australia have had to deal with animals that have got out of control and the time has come for us to have a cull executed as humanely as possible. The government is always encouraging people to farm in their yards, but that is out of the question for me. If we ever get the monkey population under control, maybe one day I will be able to grow some fruit and vegetables.

Farmer Reaps 23-Pound Sweet Potato!

By Monique Washington

Agricultural officials were flabbergasted when backyard farmer Kenneth Dore walked into the department with a sweet potato weighing 23.5 pounds.
Dore took the humongous vegetable in to the Department of Agriculture in Nevis on Thursday (April 19) after he had pulled it from a communal plot at his job.
Dore said that he had been farming for six years and that he dug up the potato at the New Castle Fire Station where he works and farms with other employees.
“I went out to reap some potatoes and when I was pulling the vine I notice a large area of earth was moving. So I called a co-worker and told him to bring my camera because I think we have something big under here. We used our hands to clean around the area and pulled out the potato,” he said.
Dore said that this is the biggest potato he has ever reaped; he previously reaped a potato that weighed 8lbs he said.
Eric Evelyn, Communications Officer for the Department of Agriculture, also had a first-hand encounter with the massive potato and said that was the biggest he has ever seen in Nevis. Evelyn said that because of the virgin land in that area, crops cultivated there would be of good quality. He added that Nevis land was extremely fertile.
“Anything is possible,” he said. “You can get very good produce from Nevis and this shows the land in Nevis is productive.”
Evelyn posited that people need to plant more so that they can cut the cost of buying produce. Sweet potato, he explained, was an easy crop to grow.
“Sweet potato has always been a crop produced in Nevis. It is very easy to plant and with the cost of the crop on the rise we are seeing more people planting it.”
Evelyn said his Department is seeing a general decline in sweet potato production but last year saw an improvement.
“The interest level is back up again,” said the official.
He revealed that for the past eight years the sweet potatoes have been coming from St. Kitts.  He said the reason for having to import the vegetable could have been due to an infestation of the sweet potato weevil.
“The Department of Agriculture, CARDI and the Taiwanese Technical Mission have been working in collaboration to get rid of the sweet potato weevil,” he said.
Dore told The Observer that he would not sell his enormous potato but will “cut it up and cook it” over a period of time.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Another Woman Murdered

Nineteen-year-old Chantelica Thompson was found dead, at her home in Gingerland, Nevis, which she shared with her boyfriend, Delvin Wilkinson, the father of her infant daughter. It was reported by police that she “was found lying in the house in a pool of blood. She was fully clothed and officers observed what appeared to be a stab wound.”

Reports indicated that Thompson’s body had been subjected to multiple stab wounds, as well as blunt force trauma to the skull. She was said to have been wearing her work uniform. Thompon’s death brought the murder toll on Nevis to five. It is the 21st murder, this year, in St. Kitts-Nevis.

Is this how we solve our problems here in the Federation, we just behave as though we have no moral upbringing and take the life of another, is the value of life so little that it means nothing to us? We are sinking into a quagmire, an abyss of savage barbaric behaviour and we as citizens seem to be okay with that, why are we allowing these persons to put us and keep us in this state of fear. We need to sit up and say out loud enough is enough and we want our country back and we're taking it back.

Just a gentle reminder that Miss Thompson was related to Shermel Phillip, who was also murdered. Her estranged husband, was found guilty of the crime and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Are we going to stand up for our country? When are we going to do so if we are?

Monday, August 23, 2010

YouTube Video Troubles

The YouTube video of Hon. MP Eugene Hamilton sleeping before the parliamentary session began, and which is said to be modified, is bordering on a request for serious legal action against the individual or individuals, on the part of the Hon. MP for Constituency #8, as it portrays him as not doing the peoples work.
If as stated by the Hon. MP in this weeks Observer, this was taken before the session even started, then the video is infact an act of deception and deceit. We as a people have to say enough is enough and put a stop to this, as we may otherwise be saying that it is okay to do whatever you want and we the people won't do anything about it.
Interestingly the Leader of the Opposition also decried this video and stated similar experiences, which as we all agree can lead to a security problem for all of us, because if it can be done to these men, who says it won't be done to us as well.