THE EDITOR: Our politicians appear tone-deaf and insensitive to the plight of the poor and downtrodden who daily have to deal with high food prices and exorbitant cost of living which makes a miserable existence even more unbearable.
Politicians are voted into office because burgesses believed they would understand the constituents’ needs and represent their interests fairly and honestly.
Anyone can run for office; they do not have to be highly educated, but they ought to understand the area they seek to represent and the people who live therein.
How can anyone expect a Tobagonian from an island hundreds of kilometres away to know everything about the needs of the people of Diego Martin? It is not one size fits all.
You cannot come from a far-removed town and expect to know the needs and expectations of any given locale chosen for you, because it is deemed a safe seat and voters there are loyal to your party.
The MP for Diego Martin West, where I reside, is Keith Rowley.
He is a born and bred Tobagonian. Why is this outsider my MP since 1991, when so many Diegonians know the vast area and can attest to its needs much better? We have suffered long and hard under Rowley’s misrepresentation of over 30 years.
Here are just a few problems in my constituency:
* Our pavements pose a grave danger to pedestrian traffic, as slabs of concrete sitting above the walkway and missing and jagged manhole covers are in many locations. Children and the elderly are particularly at risk.
* We have problems receiving pipeborne water, which have worsened over the last 30 years. Many homes, including mine, have no sewer connection; despite that, we still have to pay water and sewerage rates.
* My street becomes impassable during average rainfall because there are no drains for water to run off. Hence, water flows from the hills down the middle of the road, creating a hazard to pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
* While garbage collection is not a problem, houses on my street and many others rely on small community collection bin, which overflow onto the roadway long before the next pick up arrives, creating an unsightly health hazard.
Bringing our plight to the attention of the regional corporation is useless because they do nothing.
Even letters to Rowley himself are ignored – no reply, no response...nothing.
While Rowley, who is also Prime Minister, lives in an upscale residence that is not even in the area he represents in Parliament, he does not feel our pain or care about our problems.
He lives a life of privilege while his constituents suffer with a myriad of problems.
An American visitor was shocked at the drive to my house saying I live in a ghetto. She was not wrong; however, even American ghettos have better roads, 24/7 water and electricity, and significantly less crime.
The juxtaposition of Rowley’s privileged lifestyle stands in stark reality to Diego Martin West’s rubble, garbage-strewn, flooded streets and does not bother him a bit.
Diego Martin is known as Rowleyland. He should be deeply ashamed of that moniker.