by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) Chair of the St. Kitts – Nevis National Carnival Committee, Shannon Hawley, previously shared that the Committee was working with the Planning Department and the Ministry of Sustainable Development to ensure vendors are back on the streets for Sugar Mas 51 during their first media briefing on October 06.
Now, according to Hawley, the street vendors will be back out in the heart of Basseterre for two weeks (December 19 – January 3) during the Carnival season, this was discussed with the vendors during a stakeholders’ meeting on November 9 and shared with the general public during an interview on WINN’s Island Tea with Azem Bailey.
“We had a massive meeting last night with over 100 vendors who have registered to be back on the street for National Carnival where last night we announced that in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and much discussion, we are going to allow vendors back on the streets for a period of two weeks over the National Carnival period between December 19 and January 3,” Shared Hawley on November 10.
The Carnival Chair continued, “We met with those vendors who have registered and we were able to update the vendors on a number of really important matters to do with, you know, vendors’ food handlers permits, fees, what is required, what we expect. As you know, if you walk through town right now, there are no vendors. So we want to make sure that vendors operate over that two-week period in a structured format, and we want to make sure that the vendors really collaborate and take into consideration all stakeholders whether it’s pedestrians [or] the many businesses around town.”
In July 2021, following the June 12 -26 lockdown of the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, street vendors were barred from operating in the heart of Basseterre.
People across the Federation, particularly small business owners and vendors, voiced their objections and concerns with the actions taken by the then administration to halt food vendors and mobile businesses from operating in and around Basseterre.
After much protest, space in and around Basseterre, namely the Parking lot at Buckleys opposite Best Buy and the Agro strip along Pond Road, was identified to accommodate vendors and food truck owners.
Now the vendors will be allowed back into the heart of Basseterre during the height of Sugar Mas 51 to benefit from the expected influx of carnival lovers on the streets of Basseterre.