SIMPSON BAY–Tourism Minister Stuart Johnson has pledged to correct the poor maintenance of public toilets on Kim Sha Beach in Simpson Bay, a popular spot for cruise passengers. Bar- and food-stall-holders reached out to Johnson about the unsanitary conditions of the toilets.
After visiting the site, Johnson, who took up the post of minister some three weeks ago, said: “We cannot sell St. Maarten like this. This is not the image we want to showcase to the rest of the world.” He pledged to find “a workable solution” together with the Council of Ministers for the “gross neglect of the public toilets.”
Johnson is said to also be concerned about the way the septic tank was installed. “It appeared to be unsafe and because it is not routinely serviced the area has a stench.”
According to a ministry press statement, booth-holder Brenda Arrundell and husband Dino said they had to rent a portable toilet as an alternative for visitors, due to the terrible condition of the public ones.
The public toilets were installed at the beach parking lot in December 2017 with some maintenance until mid-February. Since then, the booth-holders have been paying out of pocket to pump the septic tank, repair toilets and buy supplies.
Breeze’s Bar operator said he has tried to keep the toilets clean in the absence of efforts from government.
Taxi and tour operators have also complained about the situation at the beach in the past. They said this has been ongoing for a very long time without anyone looking into it.
Tourism Ministry Inspection Department head Lucien Wilson is going to follow up on the situation.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/78549-johnson-to-tackle-stinky-kim-sha-beach-toilets