CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (August 18, 2006)
Land, roads, recreational facilities and water were key concerns voiced by the residents of Barnes Ghaut Village, during the first in a series of planned island wide town hall meetings of the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP led Nevis Island Administration (NIA) on Thursday August 17, 2006.
In relation to the water supply, Mr Parry noted that Barnes Ghaut was not the only village affected by an unreliable water supply but that the state of the water supply was in crisis throughout Nevis and plans were afoot to stem the situation.
“I must tell you however, that the whole of Nevis has a water problem but we don’t know we have a problem because for the past few years, we have not been putting any efforts into water development. We have reached a stage now, if we have any problems we can find ourselves with a water shortage.
“What the Water Department has done and the Ministry of Utilities has done is to bring back in a gentleman by the name of Brian Kennedy. He is that man who took Nevis up to the point where you could have water 24 hours a day and he has been absent from Nevis now for quite a number of years and now we [NRP] are back we are saying we are bringing Brian Kennedy back as well, to work with us to help us [NIA] to solve the problems before it is too late,” Mr Parry said.
The Premier outlined a number of other critical steps which included alternate sources of water to rectify the water situation. He named ground water and the possibility of a desalination plant
“We are going to have to make sure the pumps are in order, we are going to have to make sure that the meters are working because some of the meters have problems and we are going to have to make sure that people are paying their bills because it is my understanding, that they [Water Department] have an outstanding bill of $1million for people who are not paying. So all those we have to take into consideration to make sure that we keep the water situation at a reasonable level. We are saying while we seek to solve the problem in Barnes Ghaut, the problem is all around the island and we have to make sure we resolve the problem all around the island.”
In relation to the recreational facilities Mr Parry explained that the construction of a Community centre, funds for which had already been approved under the last administration, would commence shortly.
Notwithstanding, he explained that the Barns Ghaut Community Centre would operate as a central point of activity in the village. The centre would also be used for cultural activities, adult programmes and various art forms. It would also be outfitted with a computers and a library and a supervisor would be stationed there to oversee the children who utilise the centre.
“What we expect to happen is that children at evenings will go there to study. You will have computers and the internet, you will have libraries you can do your homework under supervision because if there is no supervisor we will not let the children in because we intend to have discipline and order inside there and we intend that people will work”¦We are saying that the community centre is not to be a designated meeting place for boys and girls. It is for them to do work so they can perform at school,” he said.
Meantime, in relation to the shortage of land for home construction in the area, Mr Parry explained that he was aware of the difficulty experienced with the lack of available lands but had already contacted a private land owner in the area.
He said it was his Administration’s intention to purchase expensive surrounding land from private owners and make it available to the villagers at cheaper rates to satisfy the need for lands for home construction.
Mr Parry also took the opportunity to thank his constituents, citing that they had supported him for 14 years and their faithfulness had borne fruit and they would no longer be neglected.
Also present at the meeting was the Hon. Mr. Carlisle Powell, Hon. Mr. Dwight Cozier, Legal Advisor Mr. Patrice Nisbett and Cabinet Secretary Mr. Ashley Farrell.