I have been reading with great interest, of the projected developments for Vieux Fort as espoused by our Prime Minister Allen Chastanet with the slogan “Your Time Has Come” and as reported in the local press.
One news outlet referred to the significant developments in the north of St Lucia brought about by Sir John Compton when there was so much skepticism and doubt expressed.
Sir John’s vision resulted in, among other dimensions, the draining of a swamp infested with sand flies, the creation of significant housing developments with homes occupied by our people, hotels of international standing, a causeway linking our mainland with Pigeon Point, a Rodney Bay Marina opened to international yachting business and a millennium highway – all which have created jobs and opportunities for so many St Lucians.
To my mind, the vision of Prime Minister Chastanet for the south is comparable in many ways to that of Sir John in his day. I refer to the projected modern Vieux Fort port development, which is not only for cruse ships, but also can be used for the shipping of agricultural products through the south of the island; prospective investments by renowned hotel chains and associated developments that would include entertainment centers; agricultural development enterprises to engage our farmers; prospective fisheries sectors and expanded work opportunities.
In addition to what is reported in terms of the projected physical development of the south of the island, there is room for the creation of a community college, a medical center affiliated to international institutions, with facilities which cater for local needs as well as overseas persons with specialist needs, and expanded commercial enterprises with both local and international content.
The above is possible within a phased development with the full understanding and participation of our people, for in any major development of such magnitude there will always be opposition and sometimes doubt. Like previous developments in the north of St Lucia there will be adverse commentary and opposition to projected developments.
It can all be achieved with due regard for the preservation of our unique ecosystem with indigenous animal species which of itself is a major asset and attraction of global dimension.
I look forward to fuller articulation and dialogue on the phased development of what I wish to call our Southern Metropolis in the context of the development of our physical and human resources in so many different dimensions, and the potential contribution to our economy.
Dr. Edsel Edmunds
Former Ambassador of St Lucia to
The UN, OAS, and UN
Former Member of the Executive Board of UNESCO