The community of Soufriere /Fond St Jacques in St Lucia
CASTRIES, St Lucia — Melanius Alphonse, the Lucian Peoples Movement (LPM) candidate for Soufriere in St Lucia, is calling for a long overdue remodeling and dramatic changes for the community of Soufriere /Fond St Jacques.
Alphonse said he will in the coming weeks unveil a bold new “Sulphurcity Sustainable Action Programme (SSAP).”
“The time has come to ascend in the direction of standards that respect, empower, and include people’s participation, with the implementation of Sulphurcity Sustainable Action Programme (SSAP). This is too important to defer year after year, administration after administration and generation after generation,” he said.
The plan will call for waterfront improvement plans with new waterfront facilities for vendor and craft markets; a housing plan for residential dwelling, mixed dwelling, residential mid-rise and high-end development.
An educational and local business development initiative to including high-end hotel development in the downtown/waterfront core, social and community development initiatives that include a transportation plan, widening sidewalks, improving intersections, reducing vehicle traffic to one lane, building roads and infrastructure, and making designated streets pedestrian only for special festivals and events.
Alphonse indicated that the plan is calling for a new hospital, learning and recreational centers; a modern library complex, commercial and government office space, remodeling of the coconut growers factory, information, communication and technology (ICT), equipment and infrastructural development in order to advance economic opportunity and growth for Soufriere/Fond St Jacques.
“The time has come to formulate a development framework of planners, consultants, residents, business and architects with a blueprint for turning around the epicenter of agriculture to rethinking food production, distribution and preparation, likewise tourism for a tranquil experience of nature, culture and human interaction,” he explained.
This objective is designed to improve the public space, make the downtown area more welcoming for retailers, visitors, and encourage small businesses, including high-tech ventures that transition the model of science, technology, engineering, and maths, (STEM) to set up business in Soufriere/Fond St. Jacques.
“Residents and proprietors have for too long been hesitant to invest in building improvements and new ventures, in part because there has not been genuine public engagement and consultation in policy and practice that form part of a ‘future ready’ community,” Alphonse said.
“Soufriere has wealth and investment opportunities that can enhance Saint Lucia’s competitiveness and productivity, where life should be renowned, with ecological awareness and protection for UNESCO heritage preservation, and a world heritage landmark with its reputation as a reliable place for tourism, trade and investment.
The picturesque beauty, the warmth and hospitality of its people and the culture will all be captured in the SSAP, as part of an LPM economic strategic plan for social and economic prosperity to help sustain rural economics and residents alike,” he said, adding that the SSAP has ready investment opportunities via an infrastructure bank of private capital for this business-led initiative.