A resident of Soufriere is fuming over what she say is the manner in which the Soufriere Regional Development Foundation (SRDF) is trying to bulldoze her off the Hummingbird Beach where she operates a small shop for over 20 years.
Fedelis Francis said that on Wednesday, Jan. 10, the SRDF ordered her to vacate the area by Friday, Jan. 12, to make way for the commencement of the Hummingbird Beach project, which is expected to last for three months. She said she was told by officials of the foundation that if she does not move her property by Friday, it will be bulldozed off the area.
However, up to early Saturday morning, Jan.13, she continues to occupy the area, and according to her, has no intention of moving.
“I will not move from the area,” she said, with a trace of emotion in her voice.
According to Francis, she wants the SRDF to give her the assurance in writing that she will be given a booth to operate her business in the area after the project is completed.
“I want them to give me a letter to say that I will be given a booth after the project is completed…because they can say they never promised me anything after the project is completed,” Francis said.
She added that she is prepared to lease an area in the vicinity of the beach until the project is completed.
“When the project is completed it’s their friends who will be given booths,” Francis said.
She said operating a shop is what she does for a living, and needs to be treated with more regards by the SRDF.
Francis said she helped to uplift the Hummingbird Beach by planting trees on it.
Some of her customers, who were present at the time of this interview, told this reporter that they too have a problem with how the SRDF has treated Francis.
Another resident said he will not be surprised if the project does not commence next week, adding that about three months ago, a few trees were cut down in the area to make way for the commencement of the project, which never took place.
According to the resident, who described himself as a beach lover, he is not too happy with the SRDF’s intention to destroy trees in the area, adding that it will make the beach look too “Rodney Bayish”.
“Trees add to the beauty of any beach,” the resident said.
Efforts to reach Jimmy Haynes, executive director of the SRDF, for comments on the matter were unsuccessful.