City Manager Janice Braithwaite-Edwards announced that her office will be clamping down on the arbitrary selling of water within the city of Road Town.
In a radio interview on 9 April Braithwaite-Edwards explained that the Office of the City Manager is intervening because the matter is getting out of control. “The request to sell water in the town is one that will help us with control. What is happening is everybody feels that they could get up on a given Friday or Saturday and come into Road Town to sell water. It is becoming a little chaotic, it is affecting the traffic and so forth.”
The City Manager said that it is not a case of banning the sale of water on the streets but it is an effort to coordinate such efforts. “We are asking that if you do want to sell water in Road Town then you need to seek permission first; so at least we have an idea as to what’s going on in the city, and we have control of what’s going on in the city.”
It was explained that the announcement follows a circular that was sent out by the Ministry of Education on the matter: “We have had discussions with the Ministry of Education and Culture and they have sent around a circular to all schools both public and private about the water sales within the confines of the city,” she said.
In further elaborating on the reasons that prompted the announcement of water sale control Braithwaite-Edwards said that there is also concern about the safety of children selling water. “The other concern that we have is that young children out on the street selling water become targets and prey for predators to actually do things to them that we are not comfortable with. We are also concerned about the fact that they are roaming from one side of the street to the other side of the street causing traffic havoc.”
“We have had four incidents where people have got run over during the water sales times; so the congestions that it causes are also a major concern especially on a Friday afternoon especially on a payday. It is really getting to be a little ridiculous. Traffic is backed up bumper to bumper and that is something that concerns us. We need the traffic to flow freely within the confines of the city because our aim is to make sure that the city is pedestrian friendly,” she explained.
It was also mentioned that the RVIPF will be assisting with the control of water selling as well. “We are trying to control who comes out to sell water, so we know what’s going on and we could also monitor it along with the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force,” the City Manager added.