THE POWERHOUSE IS GOING PLACES!

The Choiseul PowerHouse is “powering ahead” in Cyberspace with the speed of light. Some claim we are hard-hitting and controversial; some claim we are intellectual and academic! Some even claim we are political! Everybody is right! We are all of those things! We have a diverse global audience and it is our pleasure to stimulate your intellectual taste buds and we make no apologies for that. The bottomline is we are independent and have no affinity to any organisation: political or otherwise! We will continue to publish our "power articles"

We wish to extend special thanks to followers for their support. We also encourage you to post your comments and feedback on the Blog using the comments link following the Articles.

Welcome to the POWERHOUSE family blog!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A PLEA FOR THE POOR AND THE INDIGENT


The Park Estate youth embraced Lorne fully during the campaign

I unreservedly subscribe to a “sociological school of thought” that life in Park Estate has been circumscribed by perennial poverty since the days of slavery; and naturally, I will also subscribe to a belief in certain circles that Park inhabitants have continued to toil under harsh “plantation” conditions, even when slavery was formally abolished since 1838. In short, I will play historian and boldly state that “slavery” seemed to have never been abolished in Park Estate!

Around Xmas time, the Park Estate boys make their own toys
The school of thought that the present day conditions in Park may be similar to conditions during the days of slavery is not totally unfounded. At least, it provides a partial framework which helps to explain the widespread poverty and indigence that grips that micro-community. In addition, it is a claim supported by the empirical data.

The table below presents data from the 2010 Housing and Population Census.

Table Comparing Park Estate, Fond Campeche and Cap Estate


Parc Estate
Choiseul/
Saltibus
St. Lucia
Fond Campeche
Cap Estate/ Gros Islet
No of persons
99
8533
*146,016
74
432
BasicNeeds Index
10.84
13.25
14.83
9.16
29.82
UnemploymentRate
31
21.63
20.8
37.50
5.00
No of household
28
2,766
49,707
22
157
Overcrowding
1.35
1.28
1.31
1.94
0.85
No unemployed
15
882
15,661
12
11
No employed
34
3018
59,624
20
227



Park Estate receiving Lorne
According to the table, Park Estate is a small community with only 28 households and a population of 99 persons.

With a very low “basic needs index” of 10.84, it is ranked the poorest community in the Choiseul/Saltibus constituency and 18th poorest in the nation. (The average basic needs index for the constituency is 13.25 and the average for the entire island is 14.83. So you can see that conditions in Park are both below the constituency average and the nation’s average.)
Getting to Park Estate on a rainy day can be nightmare

About one-half (n=50) of the inhabitants of Park Estate is economically inactive. Those 50 persons include children, housewives, retired and disable persons.  The unemployment rate is 31%, with 34 persons employed, and 15 unemployed. The average unemployment rate for the constituency of Choiseul/Saltibus is 21.63%.

The conditions in Park do not seem vastly different from those in Fond Campeche (both fall below the 10th percentile). In fact, there may not be a significant statistical difference between the two communities.

An Historical Masterpiece on the way to Park
I wish to call on the government and the relevant social agencies to urgently consider designing and implementing community renewal/poverty reduction initiatives targeting the very poor communities (especially Park Estate) to free them from the jaws of indigence! Even with large amounts of Taiwanese funds at its disposal, the last administration did a terrible job with its poverty reduction programmes.

To say the least, it was cruel in the way that SSDF implemented “social transformation” and “community empowerment” programmes. It is clear that the lion’s share of the allocations for poverty reduction was directed to "Pork Barrel" projects and the wealthy areas of the North, while Fond Campeche, Baron’s Drive, Roseau and Park Estate languished in conditions of poverty. 

Perhaps, the Government should begin to consider the commissioning of a forensic audit into the operations of the SSDF to find out why those "poorest of the poor" communities did not receive the attention they deserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment