Friday, April 15, 2011

Have we flooded ourselves?

So many of the coverage and observation surrounding the recent flooding of the northern coast of Hairouna have focused on the survival, recovery and rebuilding efforts. Words of sympathy have been outpouring and we have seen our politicians among the people, giving a needed sense of reassurance in what was clearly a devastating experience for many. Even though I had little respect for the declaration of the PM that the damage would be tens of millions. Lack of respect because of similar declarations after Tomas and we are yet to get an outline as to the funds received and the funds put out in the recovery effort, especially with the ensuing election period.

Kudos to my fellow blogger Abeni in her post, always aiming for the positive outlook -

Congrats to BRAGSA who were on the roads soon after six a.m. - clearing the slides allowing some movement of citizens and officials to assess the damage. This I say in light of the fact that this entity was created with an aura of suspicion and corruption in the public perception.

But as always, I dare to look beyond the picture handed to us - how much of this damage has been caused by our own actions or lack of action?

Looking at much of the video and still photo coverage shows an overwhelming amount of trees and organic debris - much of which would have been left in our rivers, streams and tributaries after Tomas. We have had five clear months to do what we could but I wonder if the cleanup was holistic? Were the rivers and other water passages a focus point for the relevant authorities? I certainly never thought of it but in light of what I have seen - maybe it is one of the focus points that someone should bring to light.

Like many Vincentians, I am convinced that many of the funding for the Tomas recovery somehow merged its with campaign strategy (like the three homes that started building in my neighbourhood shortly before the election with material delivered with G-plated vehicles - did I mention that the two people who got their homes damaged, broken windows one and one raised corner of galvanize never got help).

It would be unfortunate if the focus of winning power somehow played a role in diverting fund from the places that needed it - like our rivers.

Additionally, I am exhausted seeing the limited way that our people function when it comes to construction of homes, business places etc. Despite the existence of the Building Code, there are numerous people still building on the river banks and other precarious places that are susceptible to untold risk. Not only should we seek to prevent construction in the bay and river bank areas but we should seek to relocate persons from their residences that are close to the roads. Every year, someone's home is flooded simply because of their location in the mouth of a river....whyyyyyy???

So is the Government going to rebuild these homes in their previous location - it would be interesting to see if that happens.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Insularity has invaded our nation and those that know better are seemingly thriving in the limitless restraint of the benefits that accompany it.

I have always shook my head, rolled my eyes and stewpes whenever the media and the propaganda pontiffs would work half of a story or issue to death. I have often found that there was something missing in many a news item or article. I could not figure out how persons purporting to be 'journalists' practicing 'journalism' would skillfully function with tunnel vision only. How many times have we heard the other side of the story on the street or clarification of a hotly debated topic or the distorted version of what we know not to exist or simply the obviously missing puzzle piece?

Journalists have a duty to the public to offer full awareness and disclosure - at the end of reading an article or listening to a newscast, should we not feel enlightened, thought-provoked or even inspired? There is little/no ability to be able to rely on a press piece for fear that quoting them, formulating an opinion, entering into discourse with others or being driven to effect a change may crest and merely flat line as you discover the misinformation that was handed to you from 'reliable resources'.

I cannot even excuse the partisan radio hosts and columnists - for the fact that they are mere adherents and fervent tub-thumpers of their respective organisations is no excuse; it is imperative to note who guides the material flowing through the airwaves. Some even dare to profess that they engage in research and analysis, proclaiming to have a duty (God-given for a few) to reveal to the Vincentian public for our misinformation.

Granted I am not saying that everything that is said, stated or declared is incorrect, misdirected or deliberately fed to us with the aim of poisoning our minds...on the contrary - we face a constant barrage of half-consumed, half-analysed, half-considered, half-revelations, half-insinuations of genuine issues, which means that we are listening to the result of in completion. On the other hand, I do not expect journalists and the hosts of whistleblowers to await to be fully informed on a particular issue before their moment of public disclosure.

Rather, as the purchaser of all 4 weekly publications and the occasional listener to the FM discourse, I consider myself entitled to hear as much about an issue in an efficient, effective and timely manner - so I want to see certain stories get coverage ASAP but I would rather wait than see a "Sorry, we made an error" statement tucked into a corner or the silence.