NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS – Premier Hon. Mark Brantley had high commendation for his Cabinet colleagues in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) for the progress being made on several government projects on the island.
Members of the NIA cabinet visited the sites of four ongoing projects on August 12, 2021, starting at the Indian Castle Vegetable and Fruit Farm in Gingerland. The farm covers more than 35 acres and over the past four months has been cultivated with a variety of fruit and vegetable crops including avocado, cassava and coconuts.
“This extraordinary vision of Deputy Premier Alexis Jeffers [Minister of Agriculture] and his team is truly a sight to behold. Sorrel, guava, banana, citrus, passion fruit, dragon fruit, coconuts, mangoes, soursop, sugar apple and more. I want to extend huge thanks to Ronald “Bankie” King for managing that project and to Permanent Secretary [in the Ministry of Agriculture] Huey Sargeant and the entire team for leading with such aplomb.
“This agricultural project is a much larger scale than we are accustomed to so I am very excited,” he said.
The group also visited the Butlers Road Rehabilitation and Restoration Project in St. James’ Parish, where the Public Works Department is undertaking extensive road enhancement works on several streets in the area. Work commenced in June 2021 and retaining walls are being constructed along the first stretch of road before repaving of the carriage way begins.
“This is a commitment we made to the people of Butlers Village and we are keeping our commitment. Huge kudos to Minister [of Public Works] Spencer Brand and his entire team for undertaking this massive project. As always we are using all local expertise, labour, equipment and other inputs, ensuring that the monies spent will circulate in the local economy,” said the Premier.
Mr. Brantley noted with pleasure that the new multi-purpose technical and vocational education training (TVET) wing at the Gingerland Secondary School is 95 percent complete and the finishing touches are being done.
“We visited the Gingerland Secondary School to see progress on the vocational centre there. This will see our people being able to access formal training and certification in cosmetology, technical drawing, electrical and other fields. Minister [of Education] Troy Liburd and his team, as well as local firm Lefco, the St. Lucian consultants [FDL Consult Inc.] and local consultant Lester Blackett must all be highly commended.”
The TVET wing is scheduled to be completed in time for the opening of the 2021/2022 academic year in September.
Another project steadily progressing towards completion is the Nevis Pinney’s Beach Park Project, a bilateral cooperative initiative between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and St. Kitts and Nevis. The US$2.7 million recreational facility is jointly funded by the Taiwanese government and the NIA.
“We visited the Pinney’s Park which we hope to open in December, 2021. There we were joined by His Excellency Michael Lin, Taiwanese Ambassador to St. Kitts and Nevis and his team. This park is truly something to behold. I thank Ambassador Lin and the government and people of Taiwan for funding the project and thank Vincent Lai who has led the project together with local technical expertise from Michael Perkins and Permanent Secretary [in the Ministry of Tourism] John Hanley. This park utilizes modern technology and environmentally friendly lighting and water harvesting. It will be the first national park in St. Kitts and Nevis and will certainly make us all proud,” he said.
The national park will feature a lawn amphitheater, a visitor centre, kiosks, an outdoor recreation area, car park, washrooms, and an observation pathway.
Other Cabinet members taking the tour included Deputy Premier Hon. Alexis Jeffers, Hon. Eric Evelyn, Hon. Spencer Brand, Hon. Troy Liburd, Cabinet Secretary Mr. Stedmond Tross and Legal Advisor to the NIA Mrs. Helene Anne Lewis.