Three Government parliamentarians today suggested the provision of many more public toilets across Barbados.
The matter came to the fore while the House of Assembly was debating a resolution to sell a disused public toilet on state land at Boscobel in St Peter to a Thelma Agard Bowen for $15,000.
In leading off discussion on the resolution, Minister of Housing and Lands Denis Kellman said serious consideration should be given to entering arrangements to encourage people who start businesses to have toilets, especially in rural Barbados when people are conducting tours for tourists.
Kellman believes such public conveniences are even more important, particularly, in light of Government’s efforts to push community tourism.
“We now have an industry called the tourism industry, and if rural Barbados is to appreciate the benefits of tourism, we have to be very careful how we divest of these public baths, because, if we want to encourage people to traverse Barbados, you cannot ask them to traverse Barbados and when they have a nature call, they do not have any location or public conveniences to go,” Kellman argued.
“This is something that we, as a Government, will seriously have to consider; and look at the possibility of entering arrangements encouraging persons that when they develop businesses, that they take into account, that it is not the business aspect only, but the aspect of conveniences. So that when people go on tours, they are sure they have locations that they can go to when they have a nature call,” he asserted.
Kellman argued that too many times in rural Barbados, people go on tours and cannot access public toilets.
“We would have to suggest to persons now, now that we are pushing community tourism at the level that we are pushing community tourism; and also, sir, without reflecting, considering that we have just passed the Cultural Industries Bill and the interest that this Government has in rural Barbados . . . .
“One has to recognize, that if we are to appreciate Barbados and allow the tourists to appreciate Barbados, that we would have to take things into consideration, like conveniences, rather public or private, but we have to understand we cannot invite people to Barbados and then close down public conveniences without replacing them, by encouraging people in commercial businesses to make provision for things like these.”
Minister of Health John Boyce also saw a dire need for public conveniences in The City, while his predecessor Donville Inniss argued that there were too many open spaces, such as parks in the island, without well
Inniss, who is Minister of Commerce, Small Business, Trade and International Business, said there was a major challenge finding bathroom facilities, and drew reference to the taxi operators in The City.
“You see big men offloading themselves in public,”
he added. (EJ)