23 Nov 2011

Going BackwardS and forwards at the same time.

I slept an unusual 9 hours last night (2011-11-22). I awoke this morning feeling really good for that. Then I went on the net and saw this: Water shortage to end soon  and then Maraval clean-up. I can't find a single set of words to describe my resulting state of mind. I've been told that I'm supposed to shut up about these things because people on that Rock know all about it, and what should I care if I'm not going returning to live there (aka Going DONG). However, what puzzles me no end, is why they have known about these things for over 50 years and are only marginally better off.

My unknowing first world colleagues may be even more confused as to why it upsets me so much. It is the stupidity of it primarily that gets to me. This country was under flood in the north, whilst the South was suffering a shortage of supplied water. This country is under severe flooding every year for the past umpteen years. This is a country with 3 desalination plants, and was contemplating purchasing two more!! This is a country with flashy skyscrapers, newly built motorways, had made purchases for gunships costing billions, and helicopters that became non-flying white elephants - and they can't solve a 'water problem'. Goes with the ‘territory’ you might think.

“Floods?” - you wonder if you’re from some part of the world and you hardly pay attention to what’s happening in a banana republic with 1.3M people – in a place with “three desalination plants”? Yes, Floods have been well documented by Jumbie’s Watch: October 2011, Oct 2010, Sept 2010, August 2010, Former PM escaping Floods in 2008, Legislation to arrest floods 2008. It is the leadership that underpins the ‘skyscraper mentality’ that has kept this nation from moving on. And who are the people responsible for the quality of leadership over 50 years? Certainly it must be the people who elected successive leading regimes. Correct me if you know I’m wrong.

And it's not because I'm not going back there to live that I should bottle up and turn a blind eye. I have rights - holding dual citizenship - to comment and take an interest in that country. Intention to ‘go back’ (or dong) is not a factor that qualifies or disqualifies anybody making observations, commenting or criticising that Rock. Why should/must it be?  I'm entitled to think – as would the next person on the street - that in an energy rich - energy-producing Nation - that these recurrent problems should not take nearly 50 years to be solved. And it’s not just about floods – I could equally go on about systems of justice, law enforcement, health care, communication etc etc. I’ll spare you today.

And my point?  My point is that Rock-crawlers need to take a really hard look at themselves, the leaders they elect, and the way they interact with that leadership. And do I think that saying so will cause any improvement? No – I’m sure it won’t. I’m not your next messiah. Get a grip! All I’m hoping for is that people begin to think, to interact, to discuss among themselves and to reflect – cold, hard and brutal reflection. It is from there that the oven of change may be ignited. Godspeed to all.