THE EDITOR: Thank you Dr Rowley for your leadership and pursuit of development projects to bring benefits and relief to citizens, despite scarce resources. Please build the Toco-Manzanilla highway now as planned because:
Stopping the project now is tantamount to the OPVs cancellation saga, a royal fumble, setting the country back, say, ten years. Having campaigned and won the election with the Toco-Manzanilla highway as a plank on your platform, it would be political suicide to stop the project now.
People in the northeast region suffer daily discomfort (like a pebble in one’s shoe) from trekking the treacherous access roads. Infrastructure development transforms lives and communities, like the latrine to WC upgrade does for families.
So holding endless consultations on the issue is like, as Tanty Kojo would say, “taking torchlight at night to look for what can be seen plainly in daylight.” Yet there are those who oppose the project; none as blind as those who refuse to see.
Look what the highway to Point Fortin has done for Debe. One can leave Piarco and go to Debe, eat two doubles and get back to Piarco in about the same time it takes to reach Toco from Piarco, which is about the same distance away as the crow flies, and has much more to offer, plus “world gold” Walcott and a bag of plantain chips.
Also, the vision of the Galleons Passage plying the route from Toco to Scarborough in less than two hours is commendable.
Technology can bring tons of educational, social and cultural “projects” directly into the home wirelessly.
However, real-world brick-and-mortar projects bring goods, supplies, nutrients, the milk and honey needed to sustain good homes. Care for the body to nurture mind and spirit development.
Presently, we expect humane behaviour from people living in dehumanised environments. We know a humanised environment for habitation is necessary as even in the developed world, crime and drugs infest neglected and depressed areas. So build the highway as a form of reparation for decades of neglect.
On another note, we won the “war” and are now masters of our own destiny and can wisely monetise our wasting natural resources to build lasting facilities that uplift our educational, social, cultural and spiritual standing for generations. Self-denial of benefits and spoils, conditioned into our DNA by centuries of inculcation, will take generations to recondition.
History will show we are known for not being too kind to our carpenters/builders; see how we nailed up the most famous one.
More recently and closer to home, the carpenter that took us out of the cowsheds and into junior and senior secondary schools ended up suddenly in a closed casket, and the last one who built the tall buildings downtown Port of Spain, well, we tore him up along with the Guanapo church.
So Dr Rowley you may want to pass by the woman in Les Coteaux to get some “protection” as “weapons formed against” you and your administration are lurking.
Seriously though, again, thank you for staying the course and skilfully playing the hand you were dealt.