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HomeNewsGlobal NewsSt Lucia’s development proposal for Castries, Soufriere waterfronts, miss-directed and compromised  

St Lucia’s development proposal for Castries, Soufriere waterfronts, miss-directed and compromised  

By Caribbean News Global contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia –  A press release for the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Monday, October 31, said: “The Global Port Holdings (GPH) management team presented to prime minister Philip J. Pierre and members of his cabinet, ” its ambitious development proposal to transform both the Castries and Soufriere waterfronts.” The subheading stated “a recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) proposes improved berthing facilities, a new fishing village and ferry facility in Banannes Bay and a boardwalk from La Place Carenage to Point Seraphine.”

Simultaneously, The Government of Saint Lucia (GOSL) said on Facebook: “ October 20, signed a memorandum of understanding with Global Ports Holdings [GPH] to undertake a transformational redevelopment project to enhance two of Saint Lucia’s most iconic waterfronts; the Castries Harbour in the north and the Soufriere waterfront on the island’s west coast.”

The GOSL communication continued: “Upon completion of the project, Port Castries will be able to accommodate the world’s largest cruise ships, arcade vendors will gain access to new and improved facilities and Castries fishers will reap the benefits of a new fishing village and ferry facility in Bananes Bay. The reimagined Soufriere waterfront will feature enhanced docking facilities and new retail spaces for local vendors.”

Read more: https://www.govt.lc/…/development-proposal-for-castries…

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW3G5hcKWQM

St Lucia Sea Ports surrender to cruise tourism

Last week, the article St Lucia Sea Ports surrender to cruise tourism, noted: 

“Notwithstanding many influences, there is much secrecy to transparency and accountability surrounding two common denominators that the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), very recently campaigned – is dissimilar with the current government’s inaccessibility to public scrutiny of the MoU between the government of Saint Lucia and Global Ports Holding (GPH).

“Tourism continues to suck out the natural resources of Saint Lucia – leasing prime real estate, and restricting access to the beach which will compromise the blue economy, to the detriment and exclusion of nationals.

“The flight of foreign currency is a by-product of the tourism industry to which services are paid in advance to external portals. Nonetheless, “ through this agreement, SLASPA anticipates a transformation of the island’s cruise product, more so, from the standpoint of the development of the port infrastructure.”

And relative to ‘restoring the real economy’ said: “Saint Lucia is laden with multiple socio-economic problems the least of which include making cogent policy, the direction to a sustainable future, laded with national insecurity (crime) and a parliament struggling with its mandate.”

According to the narrative for ‘development proposal for Castries, Soufriere waterfronts’ the OPM press release announced:

“Saint Lucia’s lucrative share of the regional cruise market has attracted one of the world’s leading cruise port operators – Global Port Holdings (GPH) – led by its chairman, Mehmet Kutman, continues to expand its international footprint and has dropped anchor in the Caribbean.”

The press release emphasised that the “general manager for the GPH’s Bahamas cruise port, Mike Maura Jr., detailed how the company’s vision for the Castries and Soufriere waterfronts can elevate cruise passenger arrivals to the island, increase cruise passenger expenditure and reestablish Saint Lucia as the premier cruise destination of the sub-region.”

The GOSL press release, albeit a yet-to-be-disclosed MoU, and national consultation, said:

“Global Port Holdings’ redevelopment proposal invites greater participation in the local tourism sector, and can create new business opportunities for Saint Lucia’s tourism industry stakeholders.”

Insights

The GOSL minimal development proposal inclusive of the apparent project development cost and impact on the country, generates more questions than solutions in many aspects.

From the renderings presented and its cost “47M” the GOSL has perhaps surrendered to short-term thinking, instant gratification to the cycle of a five-years political economy while surrendering the future of Saint Lucians.

Let’s face it, 47 million in “development cost, etc,” is microscopic in exchange for external control and development of the “ambitious development proposal to transform both the Castries and Soufriere waterfronts”.

In the interest of internal development and nationalism, there are better options to achieve greater results. Thus, minimalist thinking is miss-directed and compromised to development projects and plans for the future are whimsical.

This is no different in the continuation of colonialists’ display to re-divesting state assets, in lockstep with an extractive industry, that continues to restrict nationals’ access to many locations on the island, the suppression of generational wealth at every opportunity, and as apparent, the continuation of servitude to poverty.

Moreover, the institutional weakness of GOSL negotiation is also very apparent – signing onto this project in the light of differentiation for the previous administration – seems lazy in thought and process.

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