Parched Dry Due To Misplaced Priorities

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The harsh dry season continues to wreak serious distress on our citizens mainly due to short-sightedness and neglect on the part of those responsible for supplying this most basic of necessities. Thousands across the country are still receiving less than the daily essential for living, creating another potential issue related to hygiene. Food service establishments are especially susceptible when there isn’t an adequate water supply to prepare foods or practice proper sanitation. Is anyone monitoring these businesses to ensure that they are adhering to proper standards? Who is checking the quality of water and the method of storage to prevent a possible outbreak of food-borne illnesses?

Farmers meanwhile, in almost every community have lost significant portions of their crops mostly due to the lack of adequate irrigation.  Last Thursday, some farmers in the Aranguez area were charged and had their pumps and hoses seized by WASA for extracting water from an unauthorised source. And just days later, farmers in Arouca were arrested and charged again by WASA with taking water from a natural pond to water crops. While it is absolutely clear that laws had to be broken for charges to be laid, we wonder though, given the circumstances, couldn’t these farmers be warned first instead of being charged outright? It just seems a bit inconsiderate that farmers are being hauled before the court for taking water from a pond to wet their crops while no one at WASA has been charged for wasting millions of gallons of potable water daily due to negligence.

Wrong sided justice is nothing new to us. It’s right there in our faces every single day. Politicians who were elected to serve drive tax-free, high-end vehicles while we struggle to buy a foreign used car. A moron reverses his B13 around the Queens Park Savannah with the potential to cause serious injury but he has not even been cautioned by the police. Venezuelan migrants are being kidnapped and held hostage as sex slaves all over the country but no one can seem to catch them. But WASA’s Chairman is threatening to throw the book at people who use a garden hose in dry season?

We asked recently and we will ask again today. Where are the emergency measures to bring relief to the communities suffering for water? What happens when the rainy season comes in the months ahead?  With billions being spent on less critical projects around the country, some should be diverted into low-tech ventures such as retention dams for the rainy season and desalination plants to supplement output in the dry season. Maybe then, law enforcement could be free to make some arrests under the sleeping Anti Gang Legislation instead of locking up farmers for watering their crops with pond water.