MINISTER for Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Co-operatives Hon. Ezechiel Joseph and Hon. Dr. Gale Rigobert, Parliamentary Representative for Micoud North met with the Fisher-folk of Micoud North on Thursday February 25 to provide an update on the new jetty project.
The Government Ministers also listened to some of the concerns of the residents as it pertains to fishing.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Barrymore Felicien and the Deputy Chief Fisheries Officer Thomas Nelson were also present.
According to Dr. Rigobert the meeting was timely to provide an update on where the Government was with the project which is now well advanced. She acknowledged that the fisher folk had been very patient and understood their anxieties and concerns at this time. Dr. Rigobert assured them that this was the first time the project had gotten so far along with the financing now fully secured to see it to fruition.
Hon. Ezechiel Joseph told those in attendance that their Parliamentary Representative had been relentless with calls for the project to be expedited. “We do agree that this project is long overdue. However we had already started the process prior to 2011, but that was shelved until we were returned to office in 2016,” Hon. Ezechiel Joseph explained to those in attendance. The Minister went on to say that the Government had been in discussions for some time now with the Japanese Government and was happy to report that they would provide the funding for the project.
“We want to assure you that we have the concerns of fishermen and farmers at heart and that we will do all that we can to ensure that we provide you with the best facilities so that you can better ply your trade,” Joseph said.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Co-operatives Barrymore Felicien said Thursday, that grant funding has indeed been secured for the project which was part of a bigger wish list to include Ice machines and other amenities for the fisher-folk of Micoud. “As soon as the jetty is complete, we will begin to look at some of the other things on that wish list,” Felicien said.
The Government officials also agreed to have further discussions as to the way forward in addressing the issues of the sargassum affecting the fisher folk.