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How will Rowley attract Chinese tourists?

Published: 
Monday, June 4, 2018

Twenty years ago, Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) began representing Maracas Beach shark and bake vendors. The problems then were never sufficiently addressed but instead have gotten worse.

Facilities mismanagement, dilapidation, congestion and traffic, poor distribution of customers, and of course the relentless TIDCO sewage and its resulting public health risks.

Today, twenty years later, Maracas Beach continues to be a failed tourist destination, a public disgrace, a health risk disaster and a national eyesore.

We proudly present our shark and bake as a “national cuisine” while raw sewage flows unencumbered alongside? Is this progress?

Today the public is at risk because the portable toilets are overflowing with raw sewage and urine and there is a backup of filth that is overflowing onto the beach as desperate users line up, forced to stomach the stench. Is this how Dr Rowley will attract Chinese tourists and investors?

Why do our governments prefer the larger more expensive infrastructural projects (on borrowed funds) instead of first proving that they can maintain and enhance what we already have?

If we don’t have a reliable, managed and secure maintenance fund for existing roads and facilities (such as hospitals, schools, beach and other facilities), then how can our nation ever progress?

With many nearby holiday destination choices such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand and a host of other clean, safe and well-managed destinations, which Chinese in their right mind would travel two days for a Trini holiday to sewage-contaminated beaches on all of our coasts in both of our islands?

Unless our leader takes the first step towards a national consultation on the state of the nation, unless we face the disaster with honest and healing eyes, unless we embrace each other regardless of party or race, then it seems we will be led down the same slippery ally which is best exemplified by the decades of disgrace at Maracas Beach.

Gary Aboud,
Fishermen and Friends of the Sea

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