Friday Comment:Environment Under Threat

East Coast Road
Animal Flower Cave
First Published 9/29/12......almost 5 years ago.
Bridgetown Promenade

Unless we move swiftly to protect the environment, Barbados will face an environmental crisis from which escape would be virtually impossible. Since the early seventies, alert Barbadians, have been warning the bankrupt BLP and DLP governments, but they collectively ignored the warning and concerns, and casually dismissed the then budding environmental crusaders as alarmists.
Who amongst us can forget then call-in radio host Reverend Father Hatch warning about the disappearance of our windows to the sea?
We are all to blame: we dispose litter any and every where and dump the dead remains of animals in our gullies. For nearly a quarter century, both the BLP and DLP have failed to protect the health of the residents of the Ivy in St. Michael, from indiscriminate dumping in the surrounding areas and the assault on our water supply.
Indeed, it is safe to say that until Heritage Tourism became an economic possibility, there was little effort at preserving our landmarks. We allowed our capital city of Bridgetown and its environs to fall into disrepair. We go further and suggest that most of the efforts at preserving our heritage were directed toward one type of group/sector. For example, many beautiful chattel houses and other landmarks were allowed to fall into disrepair because they were the properties of poor black people. On the other hand, strenuous efforts were made to save and protect the environs once inhabited by the more affluent white population.
Many will jump into claim we are promoting a racist position. However, the truth must be told, regardless of the discomfort. We would also suggest that many blacks who had an interest in protecting our heritage were deemed by other blacks, to be protecting the white culture.  It’s a vicious circle and cycle of social thinking that we have to grapple with on all fronts.
As we fast forward to the present, we are happy to opine, that both whites and blacks from all socio economic groups, have now joined hand in hand to protect our environment. Indeed, we posit that this is one very positive aspect of both races coming together to solve a dangerous national problem.
In naming our Think Tank/Watchdog Group, we deliberately chose the mahogany and coconut as symbols of great strength and Caribbean environmental stability. We observed that both the mahogany and coconut trees have served this region well.  Barbados in particular was once known for its “joiners’ or mahogany craftsmen, whose furniture lasted for centuries. We have used various varieties of the coconut as: oils drink, and the sugar cake (candy).Our variety of coconut bread is legendary. Our coconut  ice cream should be  in supermarkets worldwide.
As we reflect on the deals being made, by the present DLP administration and business persons, involved in the billion dollar recycling industry, we are certain that it is only an alert public, that can really thwart the actions of those who will put profit before the well being of our citizens.
 In the mean time, we find it more than passing strange, that opportunistic BLP politicians /lawyers would now rush into to save communities that are exposed to dangers from dumping and recycling plants that are very close to houses. We wonder where these BLP opportunists were for the fourteen years of BLP rule. Where were they  when Mount Stinkeroo was making Bajans sick? Where were they when our coastline was being raped by those wealthy folks who bought out  our prime beach front properties?
But then again, with these two visionless parties it is always a case of the pot calling the kettle black!
We urge all citizens, residents and visitors to our island state to protect our environment or we will all soon be doomed.

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