Like most major cities in the world, urinating in the public is illegal, and while this has become a norm for many persons here, this will no longer be tolerated, as persons will face the full force of the law.
The Castries City Council (CCC) will be rolling out new measures to tackle this issue, says Mayor Peterson Francis during a press conference on Monday (Jan.16).
Francis said that effective immediately, persons will be charged and made to pay if they are found urinating, defecating, littering and spitting in the streets, building corners or anyway in the city.
“This will be enforced fully and members of the public are asked to be guided accordingly,” the mayor asserted.
While admitting that it may be one of the toughest battles for the CCC as they aim to improve the standards and aesthetics of the city, he said his office will no longer sit idly by and allow it to continue.
“Over the past years and for some decades now….members of the public have transformed lamp-poles, the back of buildings, around the CDC apartments, the vegetation in the city, and bus stops as public toilets,” he adds.
Francis said there is never a time while walking through the city, where someone is never seen relieving themselves. If not, the odor evidently points to the problem at hand.
“Upon my swearing-in and that of the new councillors, Local Government Minister Fortuna Belrose spoke openly to the problem and she was heavily criticised for it,” he recalled.
But Francis maintains that it cannot be denied that the city has become a “pit-stop,” and maybe the largest one in the entire eastern Caribbean region.
The city, according to the Mayor, has several comfort stations all of which could be utilised.
They include locations such as: High Street (to the back of the CCC), Lower Jeremie Street (near Customs), Jeremie Street Plaza, Faux U Chaux, Pavee, New Village, Leslie land, Wilton’s Yard, Marchand; and one soon to be commissioned in Marchand Boulevarde.
Francis said while the facilities are limited, the CCC hopes to build a few more in the city soon.
Meanwhile, in addition to implementing measures to tackle urinating and defecating in the city, the CCC will also charge persons for loitering, indecent exposure, walking in the city bare-back, illegal parking, trucks carrying good uncovered those carrying debris to dump; cement trucks which dump cement on the streets; van hauling lumber and other materials without red flags at the end.
“You will be charged according to the Litter Act Chapter 6.05 Revised Laws of Saint Lucia 2008, and the Criminal Code, Chapter 3.01 Revised Laws of Saint Lucia 2013,” he explained.
Persons will be charged from EC$150 to EC$1,500, and in some cases where the law dictates, they could face six months in prison.