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]

According to the Ministry of Health of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is on the increase in the country.

Despite this information from the Ministry of Health, another ministry, namely the Ministry of Education, sees it fit to announce that with the exception of a school or two, all schools should reopen today, November 10, despite the absence of pipe-borne water in many if not most schools. Are these people serious?

Are they doing what they always tell teachers to do whenever their union calls for their support in the form of industrial action, and that is, to think about the children first? Who is thinking about the children when someone shows no foresight and/or concern for our children’s health and safety, but instead magnifies their chances of contracting this disease?

The lack of pipe-borne water in schools, even without the threat of HFMD disease already presents so many health concerns that wish not to go into here. Tell me such decision is an oversight and it would define the incompetency and undeservingness of these people in their current posts.

In my humble opinion, the welfare of the nation’s future as it relates to their health and overall well being takes precedence over all else and defies any bureaucracy that might see it otherwise.

Another point worth raising here is, has anyone, qualified to do as such, examined the roads that were affected by the rains and declared them safe for public transport? We take a lot of things for granted and it is time that we provide all Vincentians with the attention and representation they deserve.

The aftermath of any disaster could be as catastrophic as the actual disaster. I guess it is the mercy of God that is sheltering us.

As to the role of NEMO, it would be nice that other that issuing bulletins, mobilising the clearing of roads and paths and other public places, making assessment of damages, and whatever else duties they have, they are given the authority to make recommendations based on their observation and assessments.

I am sure NEMO would has seen the same problem occurring at the same places repeatedly. Hence, they should be able to make recommendations to the appropriate person/s or ministry on possible fixes to these chronic problems. The problems that exist with our infrastructure need to be fixed so we would stop wasting money on the same problem again and again.

While prayer is it, the government — and do not be short sighted here, I said government, needs to put the necessary systems in place and ensure that they are up, oiled and running effectively. This would enable us to reduce the negative impact of natural disasters and prevent man-made ones from occurring in many cases.

JP

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].