SEATTLE — Though it has maintained its status as a large tourist attraction, Grenada is in need of improved roads, buildings and new power supply methods. Improving infrastructure in Grenada is especially important for encouraging long-term economic growth, along with providing jobs for residents living in some of the country’s most rural and deprived areas. Projects have been put in place to improve infrastructure in Grenada and, if successful, could provide more business opportunities for the country’s people.
By November 2015, Grenada’s government had made significant progress in improving infrastructure for the country’s schools. As a result, three of Grenada’s schools won awards in the first annual Best School Infrastructure Competition. Judging criteria was based on maintenance of the buildings’ structures, furniture and general cleanliness of restrooms. St. Rose Mary Modern Secondary School placed first in the contest and received $8,000. “I think what we want to do is to inculcate the right attitude, to ensure that those of us who use the class understand the need to keep the environment clean,” said Elvis Morain, Grenada’s chief education officer.
Size will be another factor to consider in improving some of Grenada’s education facilities. In 2016, 217 children at J.W. Fletcher Catholic Secondary School struggled with inadequate space in their classrooms. The Grenada Education Enhancement Project (GEEP) plans to rehabilitate J.W. Fletcher and other schools throughout the country, constructing new blocks that will be able to provide more administrative spaces and classrooms for art, drawing and music. “Opportunity is a right that inspires educators to truly devote their lives to empowering our children,” states Keith Mitchell, Grenada’s prime minister.
Plans to improve electrical infrastructure in Grenada are being made as well. In June 2016, the Grenada electrical company Grenlec announced plans to complete the country’s largest solar project. Costing $6.4 million, the project will be implemented at 11 of Greenlec’s sites throughout Queen’s Park, Plains and Grand Anse. Greenlec’s chief engineer Clive Hosten says the project has potential to help Grenada achieve its goal of having 20 percent renewable energy by 2020, stabilize residents’ electric costs and helping the country move toward eco-friendly energy methods. Grenada’s parliament also approved an Electricity Supply Bill that seeks to reform and regulate the country’s electricity sector.
In January 2017, preparatory work began for improving the structurally unstable Lanse bridge in Gouyave. Chinese engineers and construction workers are helping to erect a stronger steel walkover that will connect the Grenadian city’s northern and southern territories. Though the new bridge is expected to cost more than one million Eastern Caribbean dollars to complete, it could open new employment opportunities for St. John and St. Mark residents.
Improving Grenada’s roads has become a priority as well. In October 2017, the Caribbean Development Bank approved a grant of £930,000 to Grenada’s government and prepared a feasibility study for the country’s western road corridor. Reconstruction is especially crucial since the road is used by people who work in the capital and farmers who transport products to port facilities in the south. “Rehabilitation of this road is expected to improve traffic flow, improve road safety, reduce vehicle operating costs and create a more climate resilient road infrastructure,” says Andrew Dipigny, the Caribbean Development Bank’s Head of Infrastructure Partnerships.
In December 2017, the China Development Bank began helping Grenada’s government draft a national development strategy. The multibillion-dollar plan calls for constructing deep water ports capable of accommodating cruise and cargo ships, a highway connecting Grenada’s major towns, an airport with modernized runways and other infrastructural projects. The China Development Bank also promised to provide any further assistance to the country’s economic and social development upon Grenada’s request.
Improving schools, power supply methods, roads and other facilities will continue to modernize infrastructure in Grenada. The China and Caribbean Development Banks, GEEP, Grenlec and other factors can continue to contribute to advancing Grenada’s infrastructure and creating new job opportunities for residents. When the projects will be completed is not yet known, but the work being done will continue to move Grenada’s infrastructural reform in a positive direction.
– Rhondjé Singh Tanwar