Castries, Saint Lucia: The Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) joined representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Fusarium Wilt Tropical Race 4 Communications Committee to educate ‘First point of entry employees’ on the recent spread of the Tropical Race 4 (TR4) Disease.
In July 2023, the Government of Saint Lucia, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security and Rural Development, took a proactive approach in establishing a task force to combat the advancing deadly Tropical Race 4 Banana Disease.
The team’s mandate is to develop and implement activities to sensitize the public about TR4 and prevent its entry into the island. TR4 is recognized as one of the most aggressive and destructive fungi in the history of agriculture and the world’s most significant threat to banana and plantain production.
“While they contribute to the economic growth of our region, foreign travel and transportation do have the potential to be hazardous to public and agricultural health,” echoed the Chair of the Fusarium Wilt Tropical Race 4 Communications Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security and Rural Development, Winston Elliott. He further stated, “Therefore, we needed to collaborate with SLASPA to develop strategies to prevent the spread of the disease.”
Health and Safety Officer at SLASPA Claudius Prosper reaffirmed the Authority’s commitment to working with the task force and, ultimately, the Ministry to uphold public health measures and response capabilities at our airports, seaports, and bays.
The Fusarium Wilt Awareness Campaign aims to stimulate interest and strengthen support while collaborating with stakeholders to prevent the entry of the lethal TR4 fungus into the island.
Safety has been a foundational aspect of the Saint Lucia air and Sea Port Authority’s operations since its inception, prompting SLASPA to establish a fully functional Health and Safety Department. This department is mandated to develop, implement, and enforce safety regulations and procedures to ensure the well-being of all employees.
The stand down concluded with a special presentation by Tropical Shipping on the steps to safety at the Port.
SLASPA’s Port Council, Senior Management Team, employees, and stevedores join in remembering the sacrifice of those who have been lost and salute the dedication of Port workers globally.
Anglina Byron, developed a deep-seated passion for journalism. Anglina is recognized for her tenacity, strength, and unwavering commitment to delivering honest and reliable news across the Caribbean. She covers general affairs of the region.