Basseterre, St. Kitts, (May 09, 2018 ): A stakeholders meeting pertaining to the rebuilding of the breakwater pier at Old Road Bay in Old Road, which was severely damaged by the brutality of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, was held on the compound of the Old Road Fisheries Complex on May 3.
Several stakeholders, representing a wide cross-section of government agencies, departments and ministries, including the Public Works Department, Department of Maritime Affairs, Customs and Excise Department, Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Tourism, Department of Physical Planning, Department of Environmental Health and St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA), along with the fisherfolk of Old Road and adjacent communities, were given the assurance by ADeB Consultants Ltd, the engineering company contracted to do the rebuilding of the breakwater pier, that this time around the pier will be stronger and be able to withstand huge storms that have destroyed the work previously done on several occasions.
The Public Works Department and ADeB Consultants Ltd jointly have redesigned a new plan for the breakwater pier that would use rocks of up to 12 tons for the revetment work.
Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher #4, the Honourable Lindsay Grant, said that the stakeholder meeting was held to hear the views and concerns of the fisherfolk of Old Road, which is a fishing village. He said that the work will cost the Government millions of dollars but that the livelihood of the fisherfolk is much more important.
“We felt that the economic environment in Old Road and this constituency is so important; the fishermen (women) are so important to this constituency that it was very important for us to make sure that we find the necessary resources, we find the necessary money to again to do rehabilitation work down here,” said Minister Grant.
The main concern of the fisherfolk was the sustainability of the breakwater pier, which has had work done on it several times but which failed to hold up in severe weather. They questioned the competency of past engineers along with the present one looking for answers for something more durable.
Martell Lee, Managing Director of ADeB Consultants Ltd, gave the assurance that the engineering company that he leads has been tested and tried and will deliver. The contractor on the project has not yet been announced, but the fisherfolk have been assured that the contractor will be held to the highest standards and will be accountable for work carried out.
“We should learn to protect our environment,” Mr. Lee said.