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Kingstown is expected to be cleaned up as part of Renewal @40. (iWN photo)
Kingstown is expected to be cleaned up as part of Renewal @40. (iWN photo)
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By Wise Fool

I am frustrated. This is mainly due to the fact that many things about my country of birth are perplexing to me. Unlike many Vincentians, I dare to write about these things, not because I am in any way more aware or more knowledgeable but rather, because I believe that our nuanced way of undercover whisperings about our issues, has very little place in a transparent and democratic society. Moreover, this hidden whispering of dissent allows for the open practices that are hurtful and damaging to individuals and the country on a whole. Please bear with me while I expound on this conclusion.

It was a hard decision to choose where to start. I am peeved about the way the cable company finds an excuse every year to attach another $10 to the price. All of this is done under the nose of the NTRC and the Minister of ____________, the same people who indicated to the public that this would not happen if we supported the merger of Carib Cable with Flow. However, I will leave this for another day.

I cannot understand why our electricity company does not choose to invest more in the research and development of alternative power sources instead choosing to continue to follow a business model which, while good for Vinlec, is bad for St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a country and the citizens of this country in the short and long term. This, too, I will leave for another time.

I do not understand why we talk about tourism and economic prosperity and health and cannot see the link between how we address these things. The commonality between all of the other issues I am unable to fathom — seems to be oversight. In my mind, all the ministers of government sit around a big table ever so often, and look for ways to improve their own ministries while looking for intersections between them all. In my mind, this sort of planning is aimed at the long-term improvement of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and not just how to win the next elections.

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Currently, many persons are finding innovative ways to attribute the increase in cruise ship tourists to themselves and sell this hook, line and sinker to a population in economic crises. In my mind, this increase in cruise passengers had more to do with the fact that Barbuda, Dominica and some of the other more favourable destinations had been so badly hit by hurricanes. If you read into this that I am saying that we have nothing to offer, well…

Kingstown is a mess. In the entire capital, as a tourist or national, to use a bathroom you either have to go back to the ship or buy KFC. This only makes economic sense to KFC. People leave their concrete jungles to come to the Caribbean to enjoy nature. Where are all the green spaces? How are we supposed to be encouraging financial transactions when we lack the facilities which encourage shopping, strolling, browsing? Kingstown is a health hazard, a flood hazard and a fire hazard. I dare say, that a lack of a long-term vision and commitment to this vision, is the reason why we are in this mess. Clean up Kingstown. Put in bathrooms. Make it more amenable to shopping and relaxing and maybe, just maybe, we will manage to keep some of the tourists who come here and attract some more. This will be beneficial to all of us in the long run.

I did start this piece by stating that there is a lot that I do not understand. I am willing to admit my ignorance in hopes that a conversation will be started in which others do the same. Maybe, just maybe, our solutions will surface from an open discussion among us wise fools. This is better than the inaction of our many foolish wise men.

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected]

The opinions presented in this content belong to the author and may not necessarily reflect the perspectives or editorial stance of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

6 replies on “Foolish wise men”

  1. Kingstown can actually do with a facelift, and there are too many beggars and very badly constructed and more badly maintained temporary structures outside our supermarkets. those to me, are very un-nerving to us as Vincentians much less the little tourists we have coming to our shores, and in my view need urgent attention. There is a restroom at heritage square in Kingstown and another was outside the bus terminal, recently refurbished.

  2. Thank you for speaking your truth and the truth. So a few years ago,I visited with a friend, when we arrived in kingstown, I told her, this is town, she looked at me and asked this is town, I was like yeah. Maybe I should have prepared her for the town visit..hehehehe..anyway that was a lesson for me, now when my friends are visiting with me, they are not surprised.
    Kingstown is like a shanty town, if they are the number place for money laundering, why not use some to give kingstown a face lift, its illegal money in the first place, so the people who is hiding it in St. vincent won’t even bother to involved law enforcement.. because they can end up in jail :))))

  3. I’m sort of a tourist. I spend 2-3 months on St Vincent every winter. I like hiking and snorkeling. I like that tourists don’t come to St Vincent, mostly because the LIAT flight from Barbados is an absurd cost after the Air Canada flight to Barbados. St Vincent is losing infrastructure with each new disaster. In Kingstown there are no sidewalks, no parks, and the best washroom costs a dollar, and it’s worth it. The taxi drivers are irritating. No one can afford a taxi, alone. The bus system appears quite chaotic. A bus map would be a great idea. The bus system needs a complete overhaul. Try an catch a bus from the north end of either side of the island. I don’t like being crammed like a sardine either. Does anyone? Bus drivers need to be paid some other way, than the number of passengers they transport. I like hiking a lot. Trails are not maintained per se. I have a cutlass now. The best trails are the Forestry trails up rivers. They aren’t on any map. There is no map of trails or interesting places to snorkel. It’s a gorgeous island, and I ask people about everything, and everyone is so helpful, but your average tourist is totally lost. You have to live on St Vincent for many years to enjoy what it has to offer. It takes that long to learn what it has to offer.

  4. Great article! Yes Kingstown is a mess and it has been completely ignored by the Government for decades. and it is true that we will get more Cruise Ships because hurricanes damaged other places, not because we have something better to offer now than we did last year. What many do not mention about Kingstown is that we probably have even wore sidewalks than we do roads. Because of our SKY-HIGH taxes and Customs Duties shopping will NEVER be a tourist attraction. Tourists cannot even walk-by and view items because most everyone including locals have to keep their eyes on where they are walking so they do not trip and fall because of the very poorly maintained sidewalks.

    We talk about the roads but why do we never talk about the even worse sidewalks of Kingstown?

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