by Donella Hosten
Senator Ray Roberts, the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) Caretaker for South St George, is calling on Minister for Tourism, Hon Clarice Modeste-Curwen, to pay particular attention to the jetty on Grenada’s ‘world-famous’ Grand Anse Beach.
Roberts, during a press conference on Wednesday, 13 September near to the Coconut Beach Restaurant, which is close to the jetty mentioned above, said ‘the minister must be blamed.’ He used the opportunity to challenge the minister to come to the area and look at what is there.
Roberts said he understands that the government is cash-strapped, and cannot do everything, but, he believes that they can at least get a temporary fixture put in place. As an avid user of the Grand Anse Beach, and Caretaker of South St George, the senator indicated that this is the most despicable state he has ever seen this jetty in. He pointed out that the jetty has been this way for about 6 months, and with cruise ship season opening soon in October, he insists that something is done.
The lone sign put up around the jetty warning persons to stay away from the rotting jetty is not enough. According to the senator, if a tourist were to get injured due to the broken wood on the jetty, this could result in a lawsuit against the government through the Tourism Authority, and ‘the image of the country shall be permanently damaged.’
He said more than 500 chair vendors use this jetty and in speaking to tour operators, they stated that approximately 40-50% of the tourists visit the area. According to Roberts, an unnamed tour operator to the underwater sculpture park appeared to be very concerned and bothered about the situation.
The senator mentioned the term ‘Pure Grenada,’ credited to the former Caretaker for the New National Party, Alexandra Otway-Noel. “What kind of representation is this?” he questioned. The government has ‘absolutely no pride in Pure Grenada.’
Persons from the area revealed that this is an area frequently visited by children and that several persons have damaged themselves there. Over the years, there has been constant patching of the jetty, but nothing permanent has been done, and this is cause for concern.
When asked what he can do to help the situation Roberts said, “If I get the blessing from the Board of Tourism (Tourism Authority), I will mobilise some people in the village, and ask businesses that sell lumber for a donation to do the necessary refurbishing.”
Roberts also made an indirect plea to Sir Royston Hopkin, to communicate the deplorable state of the jetty to the Prime Minister, as it is important to the tourism economics and the development of this tri-island state. “This ought to be looked at and dealt with expeditiously,” he said.