THE EDITOR: Days after a shooting disaster in New Zealand, the Prime Minister of New Zealand announced a ban on assault weapons and promised legislation to enforce the ban within weeks. Good leadership is decisive, quick and responsible. It seeks that which is best for the many.
Here in TT there seems to be a paucity of good leaders. What is perhaps more disconcerting is the pushback from those opposed to leaders with good leadership skills. In today’s modern world, management challenges are not as complex as they were in the past. The computer and travel have made it possible for most people to know what is possible and what is not.
One hopes that it’s the vision, solutions and plans put forward by those seeking political office that would determine the best person to take TT forward. The solutions to this country’s ills are simple and cost effective. Among the many are:
Traffic problems: Build a new network of roads as many of the current roadways are overcrowded as they were constructed when the country was not as developed as it is today. Partner with the business community and taxi organisations in providing a modern mass transit service.
Water distribution: Invest in a new water distribution system as most of the present pipes are old and leaking. Move away from an expensive, inefficient, pump-driven system to a gravity-fed system.
Housing: Develop land with adequate infrastructure and distribute to citizens at cost or subsidised rates, starting with relocating squatters that occupy state lands. Citizens would build at their rate based on their economic situation. Consideration can be given to starter houses for those unable to build.
Agriculture: Partner with farmers to determine what products can be produced and processed in quantities to ensure food security and earn foreign exchange. It will be necessary to subsidise agriculture. This is common in most developed countries.
Tourism: Partner with the business community to develop and market our hotels and guest houses, beaches, swamps, hiking trails, waterfalls, caves, mountains and cultural activities to internationally accepted standards.
Security: Immediately enact legislation to make the penalty for illegal firearms one of the most punitive in the history of TT, such that one should be fearful of ever getting close to an illegal firearm. Ensure that the Police Service is fully funded, restore the marine police and strengthen community police through legislation and structure.
Justice: Reduce the backlog of cases in the system over ten years by plea bargaining or dismissal; enact legislation to support a fast-track court system for gun-related crimes and murder.
Flooding: Build water retention lakes in traditional flood-prone areas and develop new water courses with the capacity to absorb water from storms.
The approach to these problems is not new or innovative. They are practical solutions that have been proven to be effective in developed countries worldwide. The solutions to the issues facing TT can be solved easily if the people elect leaders committed to service of the many rather than the few.