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No building on Little Tokyo waterfront

No building on Little Tokyo waterfront

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Vendors who plied their trade on the waterfront in the vicinity of Little Tokyo will not be allowed to rebuild the stalls that were destroyed by the sea swells associated with Hurricane Omar last week Thursday.{{more}}

This has been made clear by Minister of Housing and Local Government, Senator Julian Francis.

“No building will be allowed on the water front. We have crews every evening monitoring and breaking down whatever is built,” he told SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday, October 22nd.

Government had previously indicated that as part of the plan to give capital Kingstown a facelift, those make shift vending sheds around the city, including those in the vicinity of Little Tokyo, would have to be dismantled.

What government proposed, nature took care of.

“Police came and told us that we can’t rebuild. They said that we could only use umbrella,” said one vendor who has been selling in the area for 15 years.

The vendor, who did not wish to be identified, told SEARCHLIGHT that vendors have to live, so even though the umbrella is not ideal, she and the others have no choice.

Another vendor, who has been selling in the area for two years, said that he agrees that the make shift sheds were not the best, but said that even they, in the state that they were, were an important part of the evening socialization that took place around the bus terminals.

“People love to come and relax and talk, so why they can’t bring in something better that we can use,’ he asked.

Meanwhile, fishermen in Calliaqua, who lost boats with the passage of Omar, are trying to put the pieces together.

According to a National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) report, eight vessels were destroyed.

This means that over 20 fishermen are without a means of earning a living and are now keeping their fingers crossed that some form of assistance will be given to them by the government.

Director of NEMO Howie Prince told SEARCHLIGHT that while he could not discuss what is being considered, all the information coming from the various areas affected is being assessed and recommendations will be forwarded to Cabinet.

One person who is hoping that some form of assistance is sent the fishermen’s way is veteran seaman William Oliver, of Prospect, who lost one of his three vessels, a 22-foot pirogue and an engine, with a combined value of about $32,000.

He told SEARCHLIGHT that the sea-swells caught the fishermen by surprise, and when they all gathered at the bayside in the wee hours of the morning of the surges, it was too late to save some of the vessels.

“Owners came down and a lot of us swam out in the rough waters to try and save some vessels,” he said.

He told SEARCHLIGHT that each of the vessels usually had three fishermen aboard, so the fishermen who fished in those lost or damaged boats are now without an income.

“Any help given will be greatly appreciated,”

he said.

Hurricane Omar’s sea surges left significant and widespread damage along the coastline of St Vincent and the Grenadines, a NEMO report says.

The Pirate Cove in Lowmans Bay, damage to boats and widespread damage to jetties in Bequia, damaged fishing vessels in Layou, a collapsed sea wall and damaged walkway, and significant damage to the Cruise Ship Terminal building, were among the casualties reported in the wake of Omar. (KJ)

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