Sir Godfrey Gregg
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is moving at a rapid pace in construction and other infrastructure but there is a problem with the Planning Authorities. With these multi-million dollars, homes and business throughout the State and there is one main ingredient lacking in all the development. I want to use this forum to bring awareness to the missing links in the development of the Country housing and business stock.
Here are my suggestions and I understand that there are limited resources but can be used in a very meaningful way.
- Separate the Fire Service from the Police Force and make it an independent body
- Remove the base from Central Police Station to another location in Kingstown
- Set up other locations in Arnos Vale, Calliaqua, Biabou and Georgetown on the Windward side of the Island
- Set up Firehouses in Barouallie Buccament, Layou and Chateaubelair on the Leeward side
- In Bequia at Paget Farm, Friendship, Lower Bay, Hamilton and Port Elizabeth set up pumping houses which will use the sea water. Japan can assist us will this project and some help from Taiwan. Then do extensive volunteer training in the different areas. As the Planning department is aware that the development in Bequia has no protection except for insurance. Look at the wider angle for accidental fire or arson and everything will be lost. Property is gone and treasury revenue also lost.
On the mainland, there is a need for an extension of fire hydrants in the developed areas like Cane Garden, Dorsetshire Hill Arns Vale, Ratho Mill, the industrial area in Campden Park Layou, Buccament and Barouallie. Homeowners and business houses will appreciate the effort knowing that they can sleep better in the night.
The great difficulty presently is that everything is centralized and even in Kingstown buildings are burnt flat for obvious reasons.
I recalled many years ago part of Police Headquarters was burnt out along with adjoining business. What was noticeable that night, the Fire tenders were few hundreds of feet away. That raised lots of questions in the
minds of public opinions.
I witness in New York many buildings burn out even though they have all the modern equipment for the job. I am not going to make a comparison, but St. Vincent can do much better with the little that is available.
We saw the problem with the fire at the Financial Complex, the old Treasury Building how those fires came close to the hearts of the citizens. It is time for new buildings to be constructed with a sprinkler system and other commercial buildings to have sprinklers installed. There is also a need for all buildings to install smoke and carbon detectors along with Fire extinguishers. Then comes the need for inspection on a yearly basis and a fine if they are not working. Train the staff how to use a fire extinguisher in the event of a fire.
I believe that much money is wasted and can be put to better use for the further development of the country.