Cabinet mulls upgrade of City, including gutters, while Tabor asks what happened to Kuwaiti Fund loan

Damani Tabor, public relations officer for the United Progressive
Party (UPP), is criticizing the Gaston Browne Administration for its
piecemeal approach to improving the condition of St. John’s City.

At this week’s Cabinet meeting, held Wednesday, September 19, the
Executive reportedly discussed this issue, noting that much has been
done to improve the aesthetics of other Caribbean capitals that rely
upon tourism.

Accordingly, the Cabinet is considering holding consultations with
property owners in the City to meet a standard that could be set by
According to the Executive, “Amendments to existing legislation
would likely require building owners to upgrade” their properties.

Currently, the gutters in the City are in a deplorable state, and these,
too, would be addressed, this week’s Cabinet Notes state.
It claims that using lime to clean the gutters “despoils the ocean-
shore environment, and the availability of potable water to flush the
gutters daily is not a lasting solution.”
The Minister of Health, Sir Molwyn Joseph, reportedly was absent
from the Cabinet meeting.

However, the Notes say, he had previously proposed a solution that
involves small sewage plants attached to each building’s grey water
system. These would purify the run-off, so that the current stink of
effluent will be eliminated, the Notes add.
However, Tabor recalls that, in 2016, Lennox Weston, the de facto
minister of finance, had reported that a loan of over $200 million
had been secured from the Kuwaiti Fund and a central sewerage
system would be installed in St. John’s.
But now the narrative has changed, Tabor points out, and individual
systems are being contemplated for each building.

This, he says, forces one to ask what has become of that loan and
whether it has been used up already .