BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 23rd July 2021) – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Urban Development Shawn Richards has indicated that apart from the North Independence Square Street spot, the government is also looking at two other areas for the relocation of food truck vendors who have been doing business in Basseterre.
On the morning of Thursday 22nd July 2021, this reporter interviewed Richards while he was making a visit to the area where groundwork is being carried out. He shared that the government is fully aware that the vendors have been complaining.
Asked why he was there, he had this to say: “I’m basically here to see the work that is being undertaken to prepare the site to accommodate the food truck vendors. This site was actually looked at by the ministry [of Urban Development] that I have responsibility for as a possible venue for the food truck vendors. However, we know that the government has taken a decision to relocate the food truck vendors, and so it has become necessary to ensure that the site is properly prepared to be able to accommodate the vendors. Hence, as I said earlier I am here to see the progress of the work that is taking place.”
Richards continued: “There are plans in place as to how we will want the final product to look like so the preliminary work is being done to get it to that particular look. We are fully aware that the vendors have been complaining, and the government being a government that is sensitive is ensuring that we’ll be able to accommodate as many vendors as possible.”
According to him: “It is not all of the food vendors who will be able to accommodate here but we are also looking at additional sites to accommodate some other vendors.”
This media house reached out to Sheldon of Lifespan Organic Vegan Food who has been operating at the Ponds Pasture area since Friday 16th July.
“I want to see what the outcome is going to be,” he expressed in talking about the government plans.
For him operating at Ponds Pasture has its challenges since “there is no restroom and no running water” among other concerns that comes with the relocation from South Independence Square Street where he had been operating since 2015.
Sheldon said that he “is just gonna cool and see who will get in and who will get left behind.”
A concerned citizen speaking anonymously with this media house about that area chosen for relocation described it as not being suitable for food business.
“I’m talking hygiene…it is a vagrants’ bathroom area and it gets worse during carnival time when people go there to use the area because it is close by and it is an area that is not policed so to say so I don’t think it is an ideal spot because of things have been there but the vendors will just have to make it do.”
Meanwhile, a worker of the clean-up crew at the area is suggesting that a tall tree at the entrance of the chosen site would need cutting because it could be hazardous. That worker also wondered about spacing for bathroom facilities.
On Tuesday 20th July, a delegation which included Prime Minister Dr.Timothy Harris visited the area that was an overgrown lot.
The end of July 2021 is the target timeframe for food truck vendors to begin operations there.