By Anthony Stewart, PhD
We have in place now a Director and Deputy Director of Grenadines Affairs. I do not know what their role is but I assume that it must be substantial to justify the large salaries they are paid. I do not know whether they have a budget to get things done in the Grenadines but as part of the system of management, they must be managing something. Unlike the Representative for the Southern Grenadines, whose role is to bring our issues the fore and lobby for action in Parliament, I believe the directorate of Grenadines Affairs have control of funds to do things.
Why then is the J F Mitchell airport terminal in Bequia left in ruins? Why is the Pager Farm clinic falling apart? How about Bequia roads that have now become a hazard to driving? How about the Government funded schools in Bequia? How have they benefited from the Education Revolution? Do the Bequia schools have access to a school counsellor?
Why do the people of Union Island not have basic services available at the local Health Centre? Services such as are available at some doctor’s offices overseas:
- Blood Tests
- Reliable Dental Care
- Basic Medication
Why has the Mary Hutchinson Primary school not been repaired or rebuilt?
Why is there no proper set up of a Tech-Voc Centre to cater for the needs of the community?
Why is the stand-by generator at the Union Island Secondary school out of service? Why are the schools struggling academically?
Are there any library services available to the public? If so what are the operating hours? Why are there few or no working computers at UISS? Why is there no Computer Repair and Maintenance Technician stationed and available to any of the Grenadine schools?
Why are there so many buildings rented for public use while upwards of 5 government buildings are left in ruin?
Why are not all the roads and surroundings of public buildings cleaned regularly?
Why do we not clean and maintain all our beaches to hotel standards?
Why are not the watershed areas managed to prevent soil erosion?
Why can we not organize the transport system to allow travel to and from St. Vincent on the same day?
Why does Mayreau not have a Secondary School program and a school counselor?
Why are not basic medical services available in Mayreau?
Why are there not adequate wharfs in Union Island, Mayreau, and Canouan?
Why is there no public pipe-borne water system in the Grenadines?
Mustique would have similar questions that need answers. The truth is that questions asked about each island may be relevant to all the islands.
There are more questions than answers and the present structure over the years were not able to address them adequately. Each island is unique and it appears that another Grenadines Declaration may be needed. Do we need a representative for each island in Parliament? But perhaps we need to consider the, Tobago, Nevis, Anguilla, or Bahamas Models. In any case, Local Government is needed.