Develop a Brac port

I think that developing our Islands is a very important aspect of enduring the changes that arise globally, however, the over development of Grand Cayman and under development of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman leaves an unbalance.

For years there has been talk and even unsuccessful tries at bringing cruise passengers to Cayman Brac because the small industries or lack thereof altogether cannot manage the visitors; no product no revenue.

I pose this question; instead of building another port facility/extension in Grand Cayman, why not build a larger dock in the Creek Cayman Brac? This would facilitate larger container boats and cruise ship passengers travelling directly there. The tug boat could run between Cayman Brac and Little Cayman delivering goods to businesses there and watersports operator opportunities would be available to cruise passengers between the two Islands.

We are already rebuilding the Brac, which will take at least two to three years to reverse the damage done by Hurricane Paloma. Why not include the building/extension of a port facility there? In two or three years we would have a new hope of receiving more visitors, fresh foods directly or cheaper products because the middleman can be cut out (shipments can be sent direct to the Brac cutting further shipping costs to business owners). With fresher foods, there could be an increase in variety as well as more business opportunity, giving a boost to employment amongst residents there.

With a better dock facility cruise passengers can have access to the Brac and Little Cayman for one day excursions, increasing tourism revenue and again giving people the opportunity to build businesses in this industry, eg: food, clothes, tours, watersports, duty free, crafts. More jobs, more money being flushed in to the economy strengthening the infrastructure…maybe even another hotel venture would emerge, who knows the possibilities?

Maybe we could even stop the expensive jet service and run a smaller 50-seater (Gulf Stream) as in the past as an example) to cut costs for CAL and have available inexpensive flights created specifically for the Brac with the supplement of the twin otters flying inter-island. These are ideas that I believe can be worked out, not perfect, but at least ideas that can and should be looked at to create a better living environment and some sense of hope and prosperity for the people of the Sister Islands.

We appreciate the help and donations of the people of Grand Cayman and the Government’s help in this continuing recovery effort but what of the future? Our government needs to stop pretending that the Sister Islands are better left untouched…forgetting the people who live and work and are trying to raise families amidst no hope for the future generations.

The time is now while this rebuild is going on, the opportunity lies in the hands of those who can afford to bring change. I challenge our leaders to simply take a look, prepare a study such as the EIA they are working on for Grand Cayman and the port facility -think about the rest of our country for once!

Include the future of the residents of the Brac and Little Cayman in the mix. I say spend the $109 million on the Sister Islands and revisit the port facility of Grand Cayman in a few years. We too want to be a part of the group of ‘haves’ not the ‘have nots’. God bless.

Mona Tatum-Watler