The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected]

It was really a heart-breaking sight in Rose Bank on Jan. 11 to see four coffins being put into graves at Dark View cemetery, all members of ONE family. Uncontrollable tears flowed from members, friends, and well-wishers of the Nanton family. They will truly be MISSED a whole lot! Hearty thanks to all who supported the surviving family members in their moment of grief.

(Read also: North Leeward buries four disaster victims)

Upon reflection, I do wish that the entire nation learn from this grievous incident. It has happened and we cannot turn it back. Those of us who live in the Leeward area may ask: Is it possible that the landslide could have been avoided? MAYBE; MAYBE not. Some have actually asked this because during each dry season, the mountainside from which the landslide came was habitually set on fire, something that we have been warned against doing each year by the Forestry Department. It is well known that consistent fires can loosen soil on mountainsides, making them more prone to erosion/landslides. That’s a solid FACT! With the Honourable Prime Minister’s full support, I think that the Forestry Division should enact tougher penalties on those who are guilty of setting illegal fires in the Dry season, since it seems that many are not learning despite continuous warnings.

Further, houses built on hillsides should have very strong foundations since they can be more prone to landslides possibly knocking them off their foundations. Maybe the depths of their foundations should be deeper and reinforced with more than usual steel. Anyone building a house should try to MAKE SURE that the builders do a good job of strengthening the foundation since it’s your money and safety that is involved. Seek the advice of knowledgeable persons in the field of construction. DO NOT be afraid to do so. Your life and that of others may be at stake! To all road users: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, constantly be on the lookout when passing Dark View, White Rock (The high, rocky, mountainous area on the right just before entering Petit Bordel), Belle Isle, and any other dangerous mountainous area in the country. PLEASE do, for it can mean your life!

On the Watch!

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].