Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit,
It is with profound concern that I write about the vendors on the Bay Front. This eyesore approved by the Roseau City Council has severely diminished the aesthetics and value of our property and continues to undermine successful business operations.
We have had to fork out money to “mark our territory” i.e. the three feet of sidewalk that surrounds our building. This sidewalk does not belong to the vendors, the government, or the Roseau City Council. The sole purpose of it is to make the property easily accessible to pedestrians. This has been hindered by the vendors. We’ve encountered insurmountable “mepuis” and threats for establishing our boundary!
While we empathise with the vendors and understand that “everyone has to make a living” at the same time we need to be proactive. The standard of vending leaves much to be desired. This is the twenty first century and we have to compete not only locally and regionally but internationally for the tourism market! Vendors have no running water or toilet facilities and are left to face the elements. Do you think this is fair? The onus is on your leadership to provide the vendors with the basics and lay down guidelines for vending practices.
These “structures” of the vendors encourage loitering and vagrancy, not to mention the rubbish that is left there. People urinate on the premises and we have had an infestation of pests. There is damage to our property and we have no privacy. We cannot clean and maintain the building on schedule since we are at the mercy of the vendors! Who is compensating us?
We have had to offload containers on the street because the vendors have blocked one of our storerooms! This makes it more time consuming and expensive and is a hazard to all involved. We’ve endured the verbal abuse of some of the vendors on such occasions. Might I add that blocking the storeroom is a safety concern!
Parking is also an issue. Vendors put out their wares on the street limiting parking of employees, tenants, customers and others. When did parking become a privilege and not a right?
How can it be right for vendors to virtually hold legitimate business concerns hostage in their own establishments with permission from the Roseau City Council? I remind you Sir that we are part of the private sector that your government often refers to as the “engine of growth.” Where then is the basic respect for our right to operate on our own premises free from the hassles of vendors? The state must honour and protect our right to use it for our own business interest and above all for the greater good of the country!
We await your prompt attention to a proper and permanent solution to this most unfortunate situation.
“Property is the fruit of labor…property is desirable…is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.” Abraham Lincoln.
- Nancy Nassief Caudeiron, Director of Emens Ltd
Copyright 2012 Dominica News Online, DURAVISION INC. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.