By Sheldon Bramble
In 2020, there is still a water problem in beautiful Bequia. This island, like others in the Grenadines, is way behind the rest of SVG when it comes to running water and some domestic hygiene standards are still being challenged by it. Is there a plan in place to correct this? Are some people so used to nastiness that they will not demand better or see the need for change?
The recent dengue outbreak in SVG has served to highlight environmental problems. With the upcoming banning of plastic bags on the heels of the Styrofoam ban, we see there is some level of consciousness on the part of policy makers for a healthier and safer SVG.
However, there is still a lack of education, among adults especially, as far as hygiene and environmental respect is concerned. People are nasty and ignorant about public health still. This is a shame on our Ministry of Health and Public Health departments. Whatever you are doing, we are yet to see its effectiveness.
How are we going to eradicate Dengue in SVG and ensure that there is no reoccurrence in future years? It will have to be a concerted effort on the part of all Vincentians. But how will this occur without a mass education program with highly visible and audible elements compelling every Vincentian to take note and take action? Where are our leaders who are supposed to be mobilizing our communities into aggressively combating this? If you are doing something, it must be in secret! Please come out of your hiding. Putting a big sum of money in a headline is not a solution, is it?
Maybe things have to get much worse before they get better. Actually, they have gotten quite bad recently. What do our public health workers do all year around when there is no health crisis? “Hold on” and pick up their cheque? If not, we Vincentians have no idea what you are doing!
If something is not working, it does not need to be turning over the same way day after day, week after week, month after month. Solutions to problems do not happen from a foreign country every time. Vincentians leaders must think locally and act intelligently. Or, are there some big power-stricken leaders sitting up in their offices too lazy and comfortable to move out and make things happen?
Why do we still have blocked drains in SVG? Why do we still have water settling up all over our towns? Why do some people feel they cannot clean their own drain right in front of their house? Why are some people’s houses even lacking a drain in this day and age in SVG? It is one thing for government to provide. It is another matter when people are just nasty and live with nastiness right in front or their gates and behind their houses, day in and day out. Our public health officials also need to understand that some citizens do not know how to make a drain happen or to arrange for government to provide one. They need your voice.
Why are we still smelling “pee” bedding in some neighbourhoods when we walk or drive by? Or see moss growing all over people’s yard and porches? It is because they are nasty? These environments breed germs and diseases because of our humid climate and rainfall. There are many financially humble people in SVG who have good hygiene standards. And there are those who have no idea how to lift their hygiene standards.
There are strong able-bodied people in SVG do not wash their bedding or wash their floors and cushions regularly. They have cockroach and rat-infested kitchens and shops and do not realize how nasty they are. However, when there is a funeral, they emerge from these places dressed up to impress while their houses are dumps. Watching TV fashion will not clean your house.
As to the rearing of animals, in particular, pigs, in residential areas, it is a national disgrace when one walks or drives by. Our own Arnos Vale Playing Field cannot be visited for years now without the smell of pig filth in the air. This is a national disgrace.
There is hardly a trash bin culture in SVG. People just discard food wrapping and waste right in front of their noses as long as they will be moving from that location a few seconds later. How sad and backwards.
If we cannot keep SVG clean and respect our environment for us, we do not need to do it for visitors and tourist. This is hypocritical “niceing” up for people we are still mentally enslaved by. Public health officials and citizens must stop the nastiness in SVG!
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].