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Residents and environs of Crownlands are being placed on firmer footing to not only access their homes, but to allow for easier access to medical and other essential services, as well as being able to realize their economic ambitions.

All that and more is becoming a reality due to the latest community intervention spearheaded by the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) via the Saint Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF), both community resilience-building programs, under the auspices of the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment.

To the delight of residents, on August 3, 2023, officials of the SSDF and the assigned contractor affixed their signatures to a Road Extension project, bringing to a completion an initiative that began almost 15 years ago. “With the development of the community we are aware that there are a number of vehicles traversing the area and residents are experiencing great difficulties especially on a Saturday and Sunday, when persons need to get in and out of the community. As a result of that, we are creating a small turning point at the top of the hill to ease the stress for residents,” noted Alison Gometz, SSDF Project Officer.

The road extension will see an additional 300 feet of road and accompanying drainage added to the existing road. The road extension in the community of Crownlands, perched on a hilltop, will significantly improve the precarious pathway residents have had to contend with for years.

“The reality is that once this road is constructed, it opens up access to the broader community and with access, people will now take the opportunity to construct homes, extend their gardens or establish a farm and that will bring further economic activity to the community. We at the SSDF take great pride in being the agency that funds initiatives of that nature as we provide communities and their residents the opportunity to improve their general quality of life,” observed John Victrin – Manager of the SSDF. For the current Parliamentary Representative for the constituency and Minister for Equity Hon. Joachim Henry, the project’s completion holds significant meaning, having begun some 15 years ago under former Parliamentary Representative for Castries South-East Hon. Menissa Rambally, when he served as Chief Technical Officer of the Poverty Reduction Fund (PRF).

“Today I am happy that we are spending over $228 thousand to once again do roads and drains in Crownlands. People of Crownlands should take note of this, because whereas I saw roads for millions of dollars being done everywhere else, I saw no reason why this could not have been resolved in my option, in times past, as this is not a million-dollar investment. I am happy that the Caribbean Development Bank has approved to allow us to implement this project. I think the people of crownlands have demonstrated a lot of patience, because of what they have endured over the years to use this road. I think it has been really difficult and there are other communities that would have protested and say a lot of things in the media. The people of Crownlands have shown patience and have waited and so today it’s really to say thanks to the people of Crownlands for something that is needed for anybody in Saint Lucia,” exclaimed Minister Henry.

Along with the many benefits from opening up the community via the new access road, the construction project will also provide an opportunity for skilled personnel from within the community to gain employment.

The Crownlands community forms part of the wider Marc, Bexon area, within the Castries South-East constituency.

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