November 28, 2020

The Editor Speaks: The beach is mine and beach access for all

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The Mighty Gabby, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting and appearing on stage with wrote a song called “Jack, the beach is mine!”

I grow up bathin, in sea water
But nowadays, that is bare horror
If I only venture, from my seashore
me, I cyan bade no more
Cause “Jack” doan want me to bade on my beach
“JACK” tell dem to keep me outto reach
“JACK” tell dem, I would never made de grade
dey STRENGHTEN SECURITY and build barricade
Dat cyan happen here in this country
I want Jack to know that the beach belong to me (we)
Dah cyan happen here, OVER MY DEAD BODY
Tell (big guts) JACK (him)
GABBY (I) say that de beach belong to me (we)
Look! That beach is mine, I can bade anytime
Despite what they say I go there anyway
(I gine bade anyway)

Lyrics and song by The Mighty Gabby, from the song Jack, Barbados.

If I ever get the pleasure to meet him again I will ask him to write a sequel – “ For All”.

During the 35 years I have lived here the one thing Caymanians have been very vocal about is access to the beaches that belong to the public and NOT to the owners of the buildings that front them.

Various governments have tried to address the problem to a point. They have legislated for access paths from the public roads down to the beaches and mainly left it at that. No policing. Many landowners have blocked the access paths and some have even erected locked gates. As for wheel chair access to date there has been none.

According to developer/campaigner/activist he has begun a campaign to focus on the broader problem of beach access for all, including wheelchair users.

At present there is only one access point to the Boggy Sands beach when there are supposed to be four. There are even areas of the beach fenced off.

He said that he has started the ‘Beach Access for ALL’ campaign and launched a Facebook page so that the community has a focal point where they can discuss the issue and post details of access points that are blocked so that the authorities can be notified and action taken.

Botes is also focusing on wheelchair access to allow those with special needs to enjoy Cayman’s stunning beaches and is promoting the idea of introducing mobile beach access mats.

Visit the ‘Beach Access for ALL’ Facebook page here

I wish him the best of luck and hope he does succeed. If the beach access is allowed to falter then so will the beach is mine.


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