The Vieux Fort Concerned Citizens Coalition for Change (VF4Cs) has written to Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, urging him to meet residents of Vieux Fort to discuss projects planed for the area.
The July 2, 2019 letter said the organisation was aware of the public presentation made by Chastanet on Saturday, June 15, 2019 to his constituents of Micoud South on projects planned or earmarked for the Vieux-Fort Area, with the potential to support or enhance the economic and infrastructural development of the south of the island.
“These projects included the DSH Horse Race Track, the redevelopment of the Hewanorra International Airport, the construction of a marina with 15 hotels and off-shore island, among others,” the letter noted.
VF4Cs letter, signed by Julius James, observed that the group embraces and promotes engagements of that nature between elected representatives and their constituents.
It noted that they provide opportunities for them to share and discuss important information on matters that will impact their well-being.
However the letter to Chastanet stated that given the “scope and significance” of the projects in the South and the perceived extent of their direct short- and long-term impacts on the human and physical environments of the Vieux-Fort Area, VF4Cs finds it surprising that Vieux-Fort residents have not been given or informed of a similar opportunity to discuss these projects with the PM.
“The residents of Vieux-Fort are most likely to be directly impacted by your projects but have not been provided with any details. Your town hall meeting with only Micoud South constituents creates the impression that employment and other benefits arising from these projects are intended exclusively for them,” the letter declared.
“VF4Cs adheres strongly to the principle that local residents must be regarded as legitimate and moral stakeholders in any developmental programme planned for their area. Therefore, Vieux-Fort residents ought to be fully informed about these major projects and should not be made to feel that they are being excluded from the discussions being undertaken by you,” it asserted.
As a result, the VF4Cs said it “kindly requests” that the PM convene a meeting in Vieux-Fort as soon as may be practicable, to acquaint residents with his projects for the Vieux-Fort Area and address concerns or comments they may have relating to the potential impacts and other aspects of the projects.