A high-level OAS delegation recently engaged various stakeholders on the subject of street naming, house numbering and the benefits envisioned, with consideration being given to the impact on the electoral preparatory process
The team headed by headed by Maria Teresa Mellenkamp, chief, Section of Electoral Technical
Cooperation in the Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation, held talks with Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, who noted that the project will be a critical tool in the development of the electoral process.
Government had requested OAS’ presence to provide technical and financial support, and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government Senator Malaka Parker said her department was ready to accelerate the process by creating a database as 90 per cent of the street naming exercise was complete.
Noting other spinoffs from the exercise, Parker said it would also assist as a valuable tool for emergency vehicle dispatch, planning or other health and disaster prevention needs of the state.
Preliminary talks were also held with the Chairman of the Electoral Commission Juno Samuel and the members of the Electoral Commission, representatives from the Free and Fair Election League, the Boundaries Commission and members of the Antigua Labour Party.
The OAS team, a release said, noted that due to the extensive work done in Antigua & Barbuda to install a state-of-the-art Cadastral System in 2006 and 2010, and the advanced state-of-the-art street naming initiatives, the country is positioned to advance the process of the address database.
Among the many benefits to be derived from the project, the communiqué noted, is the anticipation that the information generated will be useful for the creation of new road maps and the ability to facilitate a completely functional GPS system.
Given that tourism is the backbone of the economy, such tools will serve to enhance the visitor experience and the marketability of the country as a premier tourist destination.