It's time to clean up T&T
Admit it: Trinidad is a dirty place. As one emerges from the airplane and journeys to the capital there are overgrown shrubs along the roadway, drains littered with bottles, plastic cups and cans and immediately upon entering the capital there is the stench from the dump and the black murky polluted bay opposite the lighthouse.
Our citizens have grown accustomed to the still water that lies in the drains in the Beetham Estate and the crumbling East Dry River.
The Red House and the President's House which were occupied just over a decade ago are now in an advanced state of disrepair.
Our highways are falling apart and our secondary roads which were never intended for the high volume of today's traffic are inadequate.
Our beaches are eroded daily and in many instances along the east coast the sea is just a few metres away from the roadway. Acres of coconut plantation have been lost to coastal erosion.
The wild bush fires of the dry season have destroyed many of the trees on the mountain side and no effort has been ongoing to replant the burnt-out trees. In general, our roads, watercourses, beaches, mountains, public buildings and parks are rapidly deteriorating and there seem to be no concerted effort to restore, maintain, repair and protect them.
As we enter the second half of our first 100 years of Independence, now is perhaps a good time to look at our infrastructure. Consider the following:
• Assign sectors of roadway, parks, rivers, beaches and drains to specific CEPEP contractors. Give them the contractual responsibility to repair, renovate and maintain their area for a minimum of two years. These contracts should be subject to review every six months and non-performing contractors should be removed from their assigned areas.
• Form a park ranger service with park rangers responsible for the security of our State parks, and to prevent the cultivation of State lands as well as preserve our flora and fauna. There park rangers should be precepted officers trained to traverse the rough terrain and water courses.
• Immediate action should be taken to repair and restore our public buildings. These building should all fall under the purview of a heritage organisation formed predominantly to maintain and preserve the historical landmarks of Trinidad and Tobago.
• Immediately build with blocks or concrete the main drains throughout Trinidad and Tobago, starting with the drains in the Beetham Estate and continuing with a complete renovation and extension of the Dry River up to the Cascade Valley.
• Immediately embark on a new network of roads converting wherever possible, the existing roadways to modern roads with concrete base sub-structure.
• Relocate the Beetham dump to an area deep into the central plains away from existing communities and immediately implement a recycle programme.
• Reconstruct the Sea Lots area converting the Sea Lots bay into a deep water harbour for small crafts.
Now is the time to clean up our land physically, spiritually and mentally. Things are falling apart and we are beginning to accept filth as part of our permanent environment. It is not. Let us all commit to a clean Trinidad and Tobago.