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By John Public

Bequia is a small island, only 7 square miles in area and a population of some 6,000 people. The island depends mainly on tourism.

In fact, Bequia attracts thousands of visitors to its shores and is the most vibrant of all the Grenadine islands. It has made headlines worldwide in many publications, and many visitors from all walks of life have fallen in love with this little island, with some even making it their home.

Bequia also brings in significant revenue to the country via tourism. However, sadly, because of political reasons, it seems Bequia has been on its own for the last two decades, with little or no attention from the present government.

How we can neglect an island that brings in so much revenue is beyond me.

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The main roads in Bequia are in complete shambles and falling apart, especially those roads leading into Paget Farm, where the airport is also located.

These roads have basically been reduced to single-lane traffic because the other half of the road has deteriorated so badly that people are scared to drive on them.

There are cracks and potholes everywhere and while there has been some patching, that simply isn’t enough. More needs to be done.

Bequia’s JF Mitchell Airport opened in May 1992. It is a small regional airport, a vital piece of infrastructure for the island. However, again for the past 20-odd years, there has been limited to almost no maintenance and no major upgrades.

Based on what I have been told, the control tower is a major safety hazard. Further, although a new roof was put on the terminal building a couple of years ago, this hasn’t stopped the leaks when it rains.

What’s more, all the chairs in the check-in area are broken and need replacing. If Argyle International Airport can have fancy seats for its users, so can Bequia’s airport.

The runway is also broken and full of gravel in some areas, which can pose a risk to aircraft engines. The parking lot area for vehicles is sand and gravel and needs resurfacing.

It would be good for tourism if the government could inject some much-needed time, work and attention into these things because at the end of the day, it’s all about enhancing our tourism product that we rightly brag about. First impressions do last but every impression counts.

Another issue is the main wharf in Bequia. Bequia is serviced by several ferries. However, most of the time, there simply aren’t enough berths for all these vessels.

Now, here you have the private sector in full flow, developing and servicing the sea bridge between Bequia and St. Vincent and to the other Grenadine islands. The demand is so great that they have to keep upgrading to bigger vessels.

And with bigger vessels comes limited docking space. There have been requests and pleas from boat owners for an extension of the wharf. However, sadly, this request has fallen on deaf ears. In much the same way they can build a new multi-million port in Kingstown, why not focus a little on Bequia and do the same?

After all, these ferries are the lifeline of the islands, transporting hundreds of people, vehicles and cargo every hour of every day. They are also a vital link in the island’s tourism and development that we keep boasting and bragging about.

Bequia has so much potential. If only the government could just put politics aside for once and do what is right and what is needed, then I am sure we will have a better St. Vincent and the Grenadines and a better tourism product to boast about.

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].

9 replies on “Bequia and its crumbling infrastructure”

  1. Vanessa Ckarke says:

    From a foreigner who has spent 6 months of the year in Bequia for the last 14 years , this is so true and well said !

  2. nancysauldemers says:

    You could replace “Bequia” with “Mayreau” or “Union Island” in most parts of this article and it would be equally true. The Grenadines, which are undoubtably this country’s major tourist attraction and bring most of the revenue into the government coffers, have been terribly neglected for decades.

  3. Am from bequia I born and raised there and we as grenadines people were all neglected because we only choose one color for decades and that is yellow and that will never change so yea we will continue be neglected if only we change our color to red then we will be remembered.

  4. This is a good article. What we need in SVG is a few generations of engineers. A lot of engineers instead of lawyers and politicians. Engineers build civilizations.

  5. Give the Grenadines to Barbados and you will see development like they say one man’s trash is another man treasure

  6. The situation in Bequia is a sign of something bigger. Everything boils diwn to political value not social nor economic.

  7. Bequia is a gem and deserves some attention regarding its infrastructure, unfortunately its always the politicians that create the roadblocks to positive progress.

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