THA Chief Sec: Challenges are part of our journey

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine –

Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Farley Augustine wants Tobagonians to embrace the sacrifices and challenges necessary to improve the infrastructure and overall standard of living on the island.

Augustine, in a New Year’s Day message, said the THA is committed to improving existing roads, while it paves way for larger projects, such as the Friendship Connector Road in Canaan.

“Even as I stand here on this newly developed Friendship Connector Road,” he wrote, “I am reminded that challenges are indeed part of the journey.

“It is an unassailable truth that we sometimes shy away from— a fixed reality that is crucial for us to maturely embrace.”

Challenges, Augustine said, will inevitably be part of any worthwhile endeavour.

“There remains wisdom in the maxim that the easy road is not necessarily the best one. These challenges, however, ought never to be interpreted as signals to give in and to stop pushing forward.”

The THA, “purposed to press on knowing that the addition of this Friendship Connector Road, would ultimately redound to the greater good of Tobago, and Tobagonians,” he said, adding that the project specifically will pave the way for a stronger island.

He said the administration is also cognisant of the rising levels of traffic congestion in southwest Tobago and the adverse effects traffic jams can have on the wellbeing of motorists, pollution levels and productivity on the island.

“Therefore, we saw the Friendship Connector Road Project as one that was important to prioritise for delivery to Tobago.”

He said being close to completing the first phase brought a “gratifying feeling, that we will soon be able to gift this new piece of infrastructure to the people of Tobago.”

The piece of infrastructure will provide the drivers with more choice, “and will hopefully add more peace and comfort (to their) daily commutes as well.

Speaking on earlier projects, he said, “I experienced that same heartening feeling, when we delivered an improved bridge along with other civil works at Gru Gru Patch, in Providence.

“In 2022, we were equally proud to be able to deliver the Smithfield to Dutch Fort Connector Road in our capital of Scarborough.

“And the St Peter’s Bay Road in Moriah, after years of residents climbing an untenable 192 stairs. Additionally, we are looking forward to doing the work to improve our existing roadways across this little island.”

In his message, Augustine also said Tobagonians “absolutely cannot afford to cower in the face of any challenges,” drawing reference to the increased number of homicides on the islands.

Tobago recorded 14 murders as of press time on December 31.

“(As we witness) a concerning rise of criminality across the island, we must be willing to stand together as Tobagonians, regardless of our differences and collectively say: Not on our watch.”