You see this is the problem: all opposition is seen by PM Gonsalves as war, something that requires aggression to subdue or conquer it. Well, that may well be his stance and adopted treatment for political opposition, but with nature that cannot possibly work. You cannot be at war with nature; you must try and be in harmony with nature. You must truly adopt a “together now” policy. Remember that false cry in an attempt to fool the ignorant and the Diasporans: “together now”.
(Read also: Nature at war with humans, PM Gonsalves says)
Nature has been driving our planet since the beginning of time, millions of years before man and certainly much longer than the ULP. Making a policy to create a people who warmonger against nature just shows the idiocy of the man that demands such. Because if you take on nature, you cannot win, it will destroy you.
When you allow the felling of trees in the hills and mountains, when you have the drains, streams and rivers full of logs; when you have an inefficient government running inefficient ministries that are hog tied because they are under-funded, the very damage to bridges, homes and businesses are manmade and not the fault of nature. To be at harmony with nature, we must assist it by removing logs and trees from rivers, gather the logs during the dry season, burn them in the dry rivers or transport them to properly constructed charcoal burner ovens. (They have one at the garbage site at Diamond).
Nature is rain, storm and tempest, something that we cannot even think of trying to control. Flooding because of thousands of logs being in the swollen rivers is our main problem. Every flood catastrophe to date is because of logs and whole trees in the natural drainage system. The big flood at Georgetown was caused by man’s ignorance about nature, but more than that a government that just doesn’t care — perhaps because disaster is a major income stream for them; perhaps they even look forward to such disasters. What is for sure, they are major contributors to our disasters. To save the new bridge at Rabacca from being damaged during that storm, the river was diverted and the water carrying an estimated 11,000 tree trunks raced through Georgetown. The logs covered the beaches and wedged under bridges, wiping out businesses and people’s dwellings.
When you allow people to build near a river or in a floodplain, sooner or later, as day follows night, there will be flooding that will affect property and may well cause loss of life. We cannot control nature.
When you try and divert or tamper with a river, you must be sure to put a whole scheme into operation — not just partial schemes, an attempt to protect your own property but ignoring your neighbours’. Diverting your problem elsewhere is an act of homicidal war mongering with nature.
Rivers, when running normally, weave and wind their ways down from the hills. When there is torrential rain and they become swollen, they want to run in a straight line. More so, whenever the winding river is blocked with logs and trees, the river then makes a new route and nothing – NOTHING — can stand in its way.
Long ago, England was ruled by a king named Canute. Like many leaders and men of power, Canute was surrounded by people who were always praising him. Every time he walked into a room, the flattery began.
“You are the greatest man that ever lived,” one would say.
“O king, there can never be another as mighty as you,” another would insist.
“Your highness, there is nothing you cannot do,” someone would smile.
“Great Canute, you are the monarch of all,” another would sing. “Nothing in this world dares to disobey you.”
One day he was walking by the seashore, and his officers and courtiers were with him, praising him as usual. Canute decided to show his power.
“So you say I am the greatest man in the world?” he asked them.
“O king,” they cried, “there never has been anyone as mighty as you, and there never be anyone so great, ever again!”
“And you say all things obey me?” Canute asked.
“Absolutely!” they said. “The world bows before you, and gives you honour.”
“I see,” the king answered. “In that case, bring me my chair, and we will go down to the water.”
“Sea,” cried Canute, “I command you to come no further! Waves, stop your rolling! Surf, stop your pounding! Do not dare touch my feet!”
He waited a moment, quietly, and a tiny wave rushed up the sand and lapped at his feet.
“How dare you!” Canute shouted. “Ocean, turn back now! I have ordered you to retreat before me, and now you must obey! Go back!”
We all know what happened then, the sea disobeyed him. Wow! What a surprise.
Vincentian people need to stop treating Gonsalves like a modern day Canute, he is but a man who wants to take on nature, wants to be at war with nature.
The solution and remedy is simple, clean the drains, clean the ditches, clean the streams, clean the rivers, remove the logs and debris, clean silt from under bridges, be a friend of nature, not nature’s enemy. Teams of men should be working every day, every week, every month, not just a show whilst the world is watching — all the time.
The attitude recommended by Gonsalves will make Vincentians an enemy of nature, instead of nature’s friend and helper. Is that the kind of government we need in power?
Do we need a Canute?
Would all the destruction countrywide have happened or been as bad, would we have lost all those lives if this government had been nature’s friend and helper, instead of its enemy?
Is the ULP government nature’s number one enemy in SVG? They sell and take away beach sand at Brighton. Allowing all kinds of chemical waste to be put in the landfill sites. Pumping raw sewage into Kingstown harbour. They fail to control the millions of disease-ridden rats in Kingstown. Burning truck and car tyres in the Rabacca Dry River. They allow building in known floodplains. They allow our river systems to become so clogged with logs and trees that they contribute to the loss of life and limb and people’s homes and property. Then they blame nature, declare war on nature, call out their army to fight nature.
Peter Binose, Self Appointed Keeper of the Whistle, and blowing hard.
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].