by Linda Straker
- Gem Star makes monthly trips to Carriacou to deliver flour and animal feed
- Carriacou depend on certain supplies from St Vincent
Kindra Maturine-Stewart, Member of Parliament for Carriacou and Petite Martinique, said that the cargo boat from St Vincent which berthed at the Tyrell Bay Port in Carriacou on Wednesday, did not make a special trip with food for the residents. It was the boat’s expected monthly trip to deliver flour and animal feed to businessmen on the island.
“The Gem Star trip to Carriacou is a regular trip. It is not the first time the boat brought cargo here. Today’s trip was planned long before and brought mainly animal feed which is critically needed by our farmers during this dry period. This ain’t no donation, this is a usual trade activity,” she posted on her Facebook page after photos were posted online showing the boat bracing the harbour.
When asked if the boat had food supplies such as groceries and vegetables, one resident explained that the boat has been making the monthly trading trip to Carriacou for years, and it only carries the flour and the animal feed. “The flour and the animal feed are from the ECGC flour mill in St Vincent, so there are no vegetables and other food supplies,” he said.
Tevin Andrew, who was the main opposition National Democratic Congress candidate for the 2018 General Election, also posted about the arrival of the cargo boat to Tyrell Bay with food. He later explained that his post was meant to point out to those who feel that Carriacou doesn’t depend on supplies from St Vincent, are not in touch with the realities of the island.
“Yes, I know the boat makes its monthly trip but because of them saying that Carriacou is not dependent on St Vincent, I was merely pointing out to them that we have a level of dependence on St Vincent to feed our animals and to get flour for us to use in our cooking,” he said. “Not everything on the island comes from Grenada. We do rely on St Vincent for some things.”
Carriacou is one of 2 Grenadine islands which is governed by Grenada and marine borders around the island is closed to marine traffic. The other island is Petite Martinique. Any boat entering the marine space must first receive exemption permission from the relevant authorities.
A news release from the management of the Grenada Ports Authority dated 20 April said that ports will be opened during the week of 20-24 April. It further indicated that the port in Carriacou will be opened upon request.
As part of measures to control the spread of Covid-19, the disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus, Grenada declared a state of emergency on 25 March, and citizens have been adjusting to life with a 24-hour curfew.
The regulations under the Emergency Powers legislation restrict the movement of people and closed the country’s borders to all traffic. About 2 weeks ago after Prime Minister, Dr Keith Mitchell, expressed concern about the open borders of the Grenadines islands governed by St Vincent, that country’s prime minister invited people from Carriacou to visit Union Island to come and shop for food.
However, Dr Mitchell rebuked Ralph Gonsalves for encouraging the people of Carriacou to violate the law of Grenada. This has since led to an open feud between the 2 prime ministers which is mainly spurred by supporters of both leaders.
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