Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has again urged state agencies not to compartmentalise as the country rebuilds after the Christmas disaster, saying that the nation is at war with nature.
“In a disaster, what we are having really, is that nature, in a sense, is at war with us; we are at war with nature too, because we are always tampering with nature, because we have to come to terms with nature in order to have sophisticated life and living,” Gonsalves said at a press conference on Monday.
He said that in the “old days” Kingstown had a lot of tree, and that development is tampering with nature.
“And, in the forest, we tamper with nature to our peril,” he said.
He spoke of the planting of bananas above 1,000 contour and ganja farmers who cut down trees and leave the log lying around.
“… as you see many logs in the river, half a log, many often they were cut by farmers who treat the forest indiscriminately,” Gonsalves said.
Fast-flowing water turned logs into battering rams that inflicted extensive damage to homes and other infrastructure.
“And I say this to you, whether you want to believe it or not, … man may forgive, women may forgive, the good Lord forgives once we repent, but nature doesn’t forgive. Nature is unforgiving and what you put in is what you are going to get out with nature,” he said.
“Now, I am sure that there are persons who will make certain amendments to that statement, and refine it, and provide subtleties to it. Well, that’s fine with me. I could make those amendments and subtleties, but I want to make the point in a dramatic way: human beings forgive, … and the good Lord will forgive, … but nature … has an unforgiving disposition,” Gonsalves said.