PHILIPSBURG:--- The Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment, and Infrastructure is currently working on upgrading the living standard conditions of our elderly and disabled persons here in St. Maarten. In doing so, the ministry has embarked on a project which would grant these persons easy access to Great Bay beach.
Since the inception of this Governmental term, the Honorable Minister Egbert Jurendy Doran has been adamant about upgrading the infrastructure on the island in such a manner that it would accommodate persons who are physically challenged. The minister stated that this has had his attention even before taking office as it is obvious that our infrastructure hardly caters to, for example, persons using wheelchairs.
Minister Doran stated that it is his firm belief that persons who are physically challenged should be able to easily commute around the island and enjoy our lovely beaches. Having access to the beach to "take a soak" or even only to “paddle your feet” in the seawater while listening to the sound of the waves, is enjoyable and therapeutic for many. The minister stated that once this project is completed, it will be a joy to see our elderly and physically challenged citizens and visitors have easier access to this natural luxury. This is why the ministry is currently working on a Terms of Reference (ToR) to make a pathway to the beach possible.
This beach path will be constructed in such a way that it will give vehicles that transport our elderly or disabled persons around the island, access to the shoreline. The path will include proper lighting so that persons will be able to participate in recreational beach activities even after the sun sets.
The ministry will be consulting with the Nature Foundation and other relevant stakeholders prior to the finalization of the ToR.
The minister ended by stating that similar plans of upgrading the infrastructure to cater to our physically vulnerable persons, will follow in the near future.