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WHO CARES?

  • Written by  Selwyn Mitchell

What sin have the people of Gouyave committed? Why has the evil hand touched the Town? Why was this economically viable Town and its people subjected to such vulgar and blatant victimization for thirteen years by the NNP administrations?

The question that the thinking people of the Town are now asking and eagerly seeking a response to is: will the victimization restart?  We are perhaps the most self-sufficient area of the State. We boast the largest Fishing Industry on the island where close to five hundred people earn their livelihood in this Fishing capital of the Nation. Our people regard their work in the industry not merely as a commodity, but as a specifically human activity.

In the recent past, they have had all the public toilets in the Town demolished, although they knew very well that the majority of poor people in the Town were without their own private facility. It took five years of persistent pestering through these very columns to get the administration to relent. Today the Town can boast a total of two such facilities.

Gouyave is the main fishing area on the Island. An abundance of fish is landed there on a regular basis. Very valuable and needed foreign exchange has continually been earned through fish export. Here in Gouyave we have a fish export Company which is doing just that; earning millions in foreign exchange for our nation and at the same time providing employment for several of our locals regardless of the difficulties and obstacles and lack of incentives. But it took years of advocacy before the administration could have seen the simple wisdom of installing flood lights on the beach in the fishing area to enable our fisher folks to manage their catches in the dark of night and also to enhance their safety. Let us not forget that the vegetable market remained in such a state of neglect and disrepair for years that the farmers refused to use the place here in Gouyave. Although funds were allocated for the upgrading of the Cuthbert Peter’s playing field in Gouyave, the governing administration at the time dragged their feet with the party crooners.

During the election campaign, Dr. Mitchell promised the people of Gouyave a mini-stadium. Now that the general elections are over he is talking from the other side of his mouth. He is now saying to the very people that Cuthbert Peter’s playing field will be upgraded.

It was concluded that the Town of Gouyave needed a proper and up-to-date health facility, which will be able to offer the much-needed care for the Town’s people. All the necessary studies were undertaken, results studied and finally accepted. Now funding must be obtained if the project is to be realized. Fortunately for us, the necessary funding was secured under the normal conditions, but what happened? The NNP Administration, as though to victimize the people of Gouyave and St. John, never undertook the project. So when the expiry date for drawing down the funds came around the funds were withdrawn. The elected Member of Parliament for the constituency sat idly by and did nothing. The Minister of Health did nothing and the Government just could not have cared less. If that is not victimization of a people: What is?

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