BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, July 20, 2021 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – In its attempt to ease the burden placed on the Basseterre Public Market, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is moving ahead with its ‘community markets’ initiative, where farmers and vendors will be allowed to sell their produce at designated areas within various communities around the island.
This forms part of the Government’s strategy to decentralize vending from the Basseterre area, which has over the years caused significant overcrowding of the streets and exposed pedestrians, particularly the differently abled and the elderly, to risks and hazards posed by oncoming traffic.
Earlier today (Tuesday, July 20), Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, accompanied by Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr. Andrew Skerritt; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Ron Collins, and Chair of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Street Vending, Mr. Austin Farrier, visited a number of the sites designated as spaces for community marketing activity.
Some of the areas identified are the Bourryeau Strip (adjacent Fraites’ Bakery), Conaree and Pond Road.
Permanent Secretary Collins said this concept has received much interest from vendors, particularly by those who wish to ply their trade at the Bourryeau location.
“Starting this Saturday, we will have vending done in this area and a few other areas we have identified. Hopefully, we will see an ease in terms of the congestion in the [public] market. During our conversation with some of our vendors so far, they have been receptive, and we have persons who have already registered for the area,” Mr. Collins said.
Prime Minister Harris commended the Ministry of Agriculture and the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Street Vending for the work being done so far to facilitate the relocation of some of the vendors.
Indetermining the sites for the community markets, Prime Minister Harris said the necessary studies and assessments were thoroughly conducted.
“We had given thought to issues of congestion, traffic control and health issues, and all those issues are being dealt with as we attempt to bring some order and facilitation to the way in which vending is being conducted in the country,” the prime minister said.
Headded, “We are always working to improve and to facilitate entrepreneurship in the country. Entrepreneurship is what we are about, but it has to be done in ways which are safe, and which of course accord with all the requirements of the law in St. Kitts and Nevis. So, we ask for patience from those who have not yet been allocated a space.”
The Government’s move to establish such community markets has been met with optimism from vendors, including Ms. Neva Seabrookes who has been operating in the Conaree area for about eight years.
Ms. Seabrookes said, “I think this would be a very good idea because it’s a highway and there are a lot of people who pass this way from day to day, and I think we have a lot of spaces that could hold a lot more people. We have water here, we have a bathroom and I think it will be a great idea to have some more people here which will bring in more business for me which would be very good.”
Vendors who operated on the streets throughout the city center have been relocated to the Basseterre Public Market.