Letters & Opinion

Is St Lucia becoming a vendors’ destination?

By James Stanislaus

Under the UWP administrations there was evidence that the nation’s artisans were on the increase but in recent times based on the direction offered by the current administration, we have noticed a dramatic decrease on the artisan’s direction. On the other hand, we have seen an explosion within the vendors on island. We simple have to look five years back when over 3,500 employees were engaged in the construction industry as a result of two major housing projects, the HIA terminal, St Jude’s Hospital and the extensive road works created throughout the length and breath of St Lucia.

The sudden closure of those projects brought those employees onto their knees with nowhere to turn and no income in sight. The response after three years has been desperation, leaving the victims to find other sources of income. Many artisans have migrated, a number of persons entered the vending trade while others have joined the illicit trade hence the rise in criminal activities which we are all aware of.

Unfortunately, St Lucia has not been blessed with the most suitable housing authority whose vision has been the construction of substandard practices notably within the nation’s capital. At what stage will the nation’s guardians like the Chamber of Commerce, Bar Association, The National Trust and others find the gumption to question the direction of Fair Helen. It is an accepted fact if we are not progressing, we are regressing. Without a planned development in mind our production level will remain challenging and so will the future of our people. All the vendors are responsible for is circulating the same dollar over and over with zero growth to the economy.

The Castries Market was enhanced some four years ago to raise the standard of a market place but based on the explosion of vendors, a new type of vendor has emerged by occupying the entrances of successful businesses within the city thereby destroying the ambiance of what was once our pride and joy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend