by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Relocated Grand Anse jetty opened
- Water taxi operators still have concerns
Some water taxi operators in Grand Anse are still opposed to the jetty’s relocation. The old jetty which was in need of repair, was removed from its original location near the Coconut Beach Restaurant where it has been over 16 years and reconstructed nearer to the Grand Anse Vendors Market.
Prior to and during the jetty’s relocation, President of the Water Taxi Association, Oscar Bartholomew, expressed his concern that the jetty’s new location may put tourists at risk, since the location would make it difficult for tourists to be able to board and disembark the water taxis during high tide.
Their opposition to the jetty’s present location was expressed following the official ceremonial blessing and the opening of the jetty last week.
“Because of the waves most of the times the jetty will not be usable. The waves and tides are high, and you wouldn’t put a jetty where the water is rough, but instead you put it in a sheltered area and that area was where the jetty was. The ports authority is not in agreement because they advised them where is the best possible place for the jetty and they bluntly refused to take heed,” an anonymous water taxi operator. It was alleged that the construction of the jetty was not approved by Physical Planning, however NOW Grenada was unable to substantiate that claim.
Meanwhile, despite the water taxi operators’ concern, the Grand Anse jetty was reopened. The ceremony was attended by Minister for Tourism Dr Clarice Modeste Curwen, MP for South St George Nickolas Steele, and CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) Patricia Maher.
During the formal ceremony, Maher said the jetty was built to withstand harsh weather conditions when taking into consideration the damaging effect that hurricane Maria had on the floating jetty. “Last year hurricane Maria took away our floating jetty which had undergone several repairs. In fact, in the last 2 years significant repairs had been done to that same jetty, so the decision was taken to build a permanent structure, one that can withstand the harsh weather conditions that sometimes reach our shores.”
Steele took the opportunity to thank those stakeholders that have made compromises during the process of reconstructing the jetty. “Like with all things with infrastructure improvements there are always pluses and minuses. There has been comment concerning the location of this jetty and I have weighed in on it as well to say that as this jetty in particular on Grand Anse beach must serve all of the stakeholders including the tourists, the water taxi operators, the vendors market, hotels and all of those who use the beach. And in any occasion where an attempt is made to please all there is a request to make compromises by some, so I will like to thank those who believe that the jetty is not in an ideal location, I will like to thank them for the compromises they have made so that the GTA can make sure as many people possible can utilise the jetty.”
Meanwhile, Dr Modeste Curwen indicated that more focus will be placed on enhancing the safety and securing measures at the Grand Anse beach all in a bid to ensure that visitors feel safe. “We are working assiduously to ensure that the Grand Anse beach is safe so that when people are brought here by our water taxi to pristine pure Grand Anse beach they must feel safe, they must not be harassed, and they should also feel confident that should any mishap happen out there in the water that our lifeguards are there to protect them. So, we are looking at that and also looking at policing our beaches and we are working to ensure that we give visitors maximum experience.