Giant Step Backward
Date: February 18 th, 2020
Minister Rambharat’s stoppage of the stage in the sea at Maracas Beach is commendable but does it go far enough to address public safety and the right to co-exist on a recreational public space? The fete is still being permitted on the Beach. Keith Sobion, Machel Montano and Kees Dieffenthaller are commended for innovating our culture but are all innovations in the public interest?
North Coast communities are served by a slim, meandering, arterial road that already suffers from automotive congestion on any given weekend. When these extremely large fete events take place, without any oversight of the maximum carrying capacity of the beach or road, it becomes dangerously overcrowded and congested. When approvals are granted where are our protective agencies? Where is OSHA?
Public safety should never be disregarded or threatened and in our respectful view we need to take a long hard look at public safety. Any resident or attendee who has a medical emergency cannot get in or out and this is dangerously wreck-less. How many lifeguards will be posted, and can they keep track of unknown thousands of drinking or zessed up attendees? Furthermore, when paints, powder, foam and other unnatural materials are used in these events, the beach remains heavily littered and the sand and the water is polluted.
Is this responsible conduct for a beach with nesting turtles? This beach is a public recreational space and as part of our natural history lends itself to certain activities. A beach is not a fete hall and the idea that we are allowing our natural recreational public spaces to be used for massive fetes and other large-scale private events seems to us to be a misuse of our natural assets.
The question arises whether depriving citizens of using designated public spaces for recreational purposes is reasonable? Can we at least have public consultation on the use of public space for private events? Is there any standard to measure the carrying capacity of these remote fete locations such as the massive traffic caused in Chaguaramas when the Red Bull Flugtag event caused chaos a few years ago? Unless we treat public safety as a national priority, our nation will be taking giant steps backward for the sake of “culture”.
Sincerely, Gary Aboud