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Sunday 21 July 2019
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MSJ proposes reconstruction plan for natural disasters

AS this country grapples with several natural disasters including the loss of property in Cedros and a major landslide along the Lady Young Road, the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) has proposed a national reconstruction plan to prepare TT for future events.

In a statement yesterday, MSJ political leader David Abdulah said TT is in “very bad shape with respect to threats posed to lives, property and infrastructure coming from climate change and natural disasters.” He noted that the nation is extremely vulnerable to earthquakes; storms – occasioning landslips and flooding; coastal erosion and climate change.

“Any severe occurrence of any of the above will have horrific consequences. Yet there is absolutely no plan by the present – or for that matter – past government to address these threats. We hear talk of ‘mitigation’ and ‘disaster management’ – all of which refer to plans to deal with the aftermath of a crisis.

“But there is no talk, far less action, on what must be done to minimise the loss of life and damage to property and infrastructure.” Abdulah said the plan would “utilise the billions of dollars that is ‘excess liquidity’ in the financial system; employ the thousands of unemployed and underemployed, especially young people and create wealth in communities by involving communities through co-operative enterprises to engage in much of the work; and not the reinforcing of the ‘contractocracy’ – i.e the use of large contractors which create more avenues for corruption and taxpayers’ money enriching a few.”

In moments of crisis, he said, “A people need a ‘big idea’ and it is the responsibility of leaders to offer such ideas, and thus instil hope in the future. Neither of the parliamentary parties, both of which have failed this country, have offered or can offer any ‘big idea’, far less hope. They are mired in the gutter of attacking each other rather than providing leadership for the country to get out of our difficulties,” he said.

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