THE EDITOR: As a little boy I wondered why in some countries that flooded in the rainy season and had harsh dry seasons some of the people seemed to suffer from the effects of the weather.
Then I noticed that other people would go into those lands and prosper, using wells and water storage in the dry periods and creating dams and water courses for the wet periods. It bothered me that some were always begging rather than working.
Now as I have grown older and hopefully wiser, I am still bemused by the action, and sometimes non-action, of those who we think ought to know better.
One would think that in a land where many of its inhabitants were subject to inhumane exploitation by colonial rulers, the people having been free from such oppression would not only celebrate their independence but demonstrate their intelligence and competence by their action.
The children of slaves and indentured servants are today as intelligent and competent as any from Europe or America. Yet among those brilliant people they seem unable to declare their real independence, choosing instead to hang on to the shoestrings of their precious oppressors by retaining as their final court of appeal the Privy Council rather than their own Caribbean Court of Justice. That action seems to confuse even the law lords of the Privy Council.
The action of our people must be confusing to most intelligent rational thinking people.
Why for example is the local entertainment business still disorganised and our preferred television content mainly foreign material?
Why after years of observing our weather patterns we have not constructed retention ponds or man-made lakes in flood-prone areas? That stored water from those lakes can then be used to augment the water supply during the dry season.
Why having observed the instability of the soil in many areas are there not engineering solutions to the roadways that continually fall apart in the many areas of south and east Trinidad?
Why are there not structured maintenance programmes in place for maintaining our sports facilities, government properties, general landscape, roads and bridges?
Why with the fertile soil and personnel available are there not large-scale production of corn, coconuts, cocoa, coffee, citrus and sugar cane for rum production?
Why not use local currency to subsidise local food production of targeted crops like peas and beans, corn and citrus rather than spend foreign currency on procuring that which can be produced locally?
Why with some of the best hiking trails in the world, the pitch lake, one of the best underground caves, many rivers and waterfalls, beautiful rainforest, some of the best bird watching and picturesque swamps, tourism is not a major income earner for the country?
Why with some of the best thinkers, intelligent planners and brilliant minds the people cannot unite and form one very powerful, patriotic political organisation as an alternative to race-based parties?
It is all a mystery to me.