There were four homicides in just 4 days in a population of less than 40k adults. That’s an alarming and bloody statistics for life in St Kitts in August 2011.
The government has to act fast and come up with real and immediate solutions to the crime wave on the island.
The moral fabric of the Federation is in jeopardy and lives of innocent people are at risk.
Inevitably, the fragile economy will suffer massive blows as the tourist industry which keeps it alive, begins to flounder and consider moving to calmer, sunnier pastures.
The problems in the Federation are numerous and complex. However, urgent solutions are needed to stop the burgeoning crime, and repair a fragile and damaged society.
Politicians have to recognise that people are scared, frustrated, angry and discontented.
Still, there is no excuse for mindless violence.
As always the short term solution is harsher punitive measures. These may allay fear and calm the population initially but if the underlying problems are not resolved, then its only a matter of time before the whole degenerating cycle repeats.
This is always high on the agenda after a shock. The problem is the lack of application. More jobs which generate income through exports need to be created. The federation is too small to manage a jobs explosion paid for by it’s populace. Consequently, services and light manufacturing is a good way to go.
The property development industry is favoured but there is a limit to how many job can be created in a downtown from building condos and luxury houses.
Offshore banking is another industry which was touted as an area for growth but with technology most of these jobs can be done from anywhere with a broadband connection.
What’s needed on the island?
Better agricultural management is imperative so that food can be grown faster and cheaper. Excess food should be processed and exported to earn revenue.
The government spend too much money on expensive fossil fuels – gas, oil.
Solar energy is cheap and there is an abundant supply of wind and sun. Many not so blessed countries are investing billions in solar. Other Caribbean islands have seen the light and are embracing solar energy.
Young people need a good education which allows them to compete with the outside world. When they leave school/college they should be encouraged to set up (self-employment) small businesses as is the practice globally.
More can be done with a little imagination and will, to improve the lifestyle of the people. The government should use the vast sum of money borrowed from the IMF to regenerate the federation.