If you know the Caroni River basin fairly well, and you are familiar with the Caroni River, if you have seen it overflow its banks after, say, two days of torrential rainfall, you will have seen floods spread rapidly, inundating everything along its banks for miles. Ever since I came of age and a rode a bicycle, and later acquired a motor vehicle, I have had many encounters with the flood waters of the Caroni, starting with cycling through Madras Road when the water was maybe eighteen inches high, which was challenging, but nevertheless something of a thrill for us boys, to driving through Kelly, St Helena and Piarco villages, having to skilfully use one foot on the vehicle’s accelerator to keep the exhaust functioning, and another on the brake pedal to control its speed. Continue reading A Flood of ‘Dotish’ Talk→
It was a light drizzle, or so I thought. Two weeks ago I was making my way to City Gate to get a maxi taxi to take me to Tacarigua. The drizzle turned into a downpour and then the deluge started. Like many fellow travelers, I sheltered beneath the canopy of RBT Royal Bank, hoping that the water would drain away quickly.
Minutes turned into an hour as the water poured into Lower Lara Promenade South and the street in front of City Gate turned into a river. After waiting another hour, like other travelers I eased my way southerly towards the western side of City Gate from which I made my way to the Arima maxi stand where I boarded a maxi to Tacarigua. Continue reading Poisoning Minds and Sickening Bodies→
Until scores of corrupt politicians, public officials and thieving contractors in this country are jailed for pillaging the public purse, and are seen wearing “prison blues” so that the population is convinced that justice is evenly dispensed, the lawlessness that runs rife in the society will ravage its body politic like an invasive cancer.
It will inevitably permeate the few decent souls remaining, like the persons whose compassion for their less fortunate brethren during the recent floods kindled hope in our hearts that there is still some humanity left in this jungle of feral greed. Continue reading Bring on an anti-corruption court→
Construction variations or changes to the agreed scope of works at Housing Development Corporation (HDC) projects cost taxpayers some $2.4 billion between 2005 and 2017. These include two projects that had to be abandoned because of structural and engineering obstacles that were not determined before construction began.
Now that the waters have subsided after the worst flooding in fifty years, we should engage in a new national discourse about who we are and whether we can keep on doing the same ole same ole and expect different results. We should decide whether we continue along our national highway using the same tired rhetoric of a happy, go-lucky people who never think or plan for tomorrow.
President Paula-Mae Weeks opened up the national conversation best when she said: “Whether causes by an Act of God, omissions or commissions of institutions or individuals or any combination thereof, this is not the time to ascribe blame. Now is the time for all to come together as a nation to render whatever assistance we can to those in such desperate need” (Express, October 22). Continue reading Water of National Cleansing→
As I watched the assault on the Member of Parliament for Laventille West and the Local Government Councillor for the area by their constituents on August 14, 2018, I was saddened by the knowledge that what was playing out was a culmination of long unaddressed social and political factors that none of the actors, on either side, would acknowledge long enough to address. Let me be categorical in my condemnation of the actions of some residents of Beetham Gardens towards their Member of Parliament and Local Government Councillor. These men, Minister Fitzgerald Hinds and Councillor Akil Audain, represented the entire political class, and those chasing them represented the underclass created and sustained, in part, by the political class. Continue reading Poor People Fed Up→
Poor people fed up to how yuh system set up
Well, everyday the ghetto youths dead up
Mi ask the leader, him a di arranger
Fi mek poor people surround by danger
Fly and the roach and giant mosquito
Sewage water whey fill with bacteria
Unno ever take a look down inna di Riverton area
Bactu, and Seaview, Waterhouse, Kentire
Long time the MP him nuh come near yah
And the other one whho claims sey she a counsellor
—Bounty Killa: Poor People Fed Up
The words by Bounty Killa, also known as the ‘poor people’s governor’ is relevant to every single Caribbean country, where the type of leadership after independence has failed to be sensitive to the experiences of those who have most been disadvantaged by social structures. So when I saw Beetham residents dousing MP Fitzgerald Hinds and councillor Akil Audain with dirty flood water and chasing them from the area, this was the first song that came to mind. Continue reading Floodwaters, People Power and the Legacy of Misdevelopment→
I am convinced that God, in whatever manifestation the people of this multi-religious society pray to him, has given up on Trinidad & Tobago. How else can we explain the near-total breakdown of systems that define a functioning nation? The economy is in a mess. Criminals are in control, striking at will. Lawlessness reigns supreme. And rather than work together to rescue the country from collapse, the politicians resort to jammette-like behaviour in Parliament, cackling like yard-fowls, literally saying to us, well, didn’t you elect Jean and Dinah to represent you? Continue reading Has God abandoned this cussed country?→
Both during question time as well as during the debate on the definite matter of urgent public importance that the Speaker accorded to the major flooding disaster that occurred in the wake of tropical storm Bret, the Rowley Government on Friday demonstrated the deep divisions and further polarisation that it is fanning and embedding in this country to serve its nefarious electoral agenda. Continue reading Using a National Disaster to Polarise the Country→