AS beautiful as the city still is, Castries continues to lose its appeal to many people. The number of destitute people making the sidewalks their permanent homes is skyrocketing, changing the landscape of the city so much so that a social sin has now become the norm.
Panhandling is another major issue in the city these days. Notwithstanding the fact that panhandling has been with us for eons, it seems like every other person one meets in the city has fallen on hard times and wants a coin. The high unemployment levels are not helping that cause, either.
The perennial problem of indiscriminate garbage disposal, urinating and defecating continue to reveal a nasty picture of the city thousands must use either to live or conduct business. While efforts have been made from time to time by the government and other agencies to rehabilitate the city’s image, certain elements seem keen on destroying such gains.
As has been the call by many for years now, this is yet another call for those in authority to either formulate or act on any existing plan to truly bring out the beauty of Castries. There must also be strict penalties put in place to make those keen on quickening a city’s death think again. Castries needs to be able to breathe again.
As a society that prides itself on being friendly, we must also seek to address once and for all how we treat the destitute people who basically litter our streets at the mercy of the natural and criminal elements. We simply cannot continue to turn a blind eye to this wrong while the roots of the problem continue to dig deep into our sidewalks. Social agencies need to step up for a change and do something to correct this anomaly instead of just spending most of their budgets on overheads.
Naturally, the knee-jerk response to this call might well be that resources are limited to even try to rectify the ills plaguing Castries. But when one considers that rectifying the city’s woes would take less than the $30 million now being pitched to improve the Castries-Gros Islet Highway, the equation seems flawed. There are moments when rhyme and reason must coexist and correcting overdue social flaws must take precedence over political expediencies.