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On the verge of collapse

Friday, January 12, 2018

The collapse of the Couva Children’s Hospital’s cooling tower last Sunday, mere days after a segment of the Solomon Hochoy Highway in front of the hospital caved in, is symbolic of the lack of vision, planning and leadership our country has been starved of over the years.

First and foremost, thankfully no one was maimed, hurt or killed.

This is especially so given the controversies which have plagued it since its inception.

Two and a half years after the hospital was opened with much pomp and ceremony, and $975 million TT dollars later (US$150 million) it stands as a glaring example that money alone cannot solve the problems we are facing in T&T today.

Perhaps the collapse of the stage on the opening day was a sign of things to come that it does not matter how nice things look on the outside, if it does not have a proper foundation and is rotting from the core, as with everything else, it will soon collapse.

That is the reality of what is happening today in our country within all sectors and institutions. We need only look at the debacle which is classified as Parliamentary debate.

Corruption, waste, mismanagement, the lack of truth, accountability and transparency, racial tensions propagated by politicians seeking to hold on to power and position at all costs, fake news and propaganda, are all destroying our country and its people’s potential at an alarming rate.

Social consciousness has all but completely disappeared, not least because people are afraid for their own lives. So no longer are we our brother’s and our sister’s keeper.

Our once beautiful land is now is now being ravaged by death, destruction and mayhem on a daily basis and so it is no wonder people are absolutely fed up of the “ole talk” on both sides of the political divide.

That being said, whilst I accept that the current administration faced an uphill battle financially when it took office, that excuse for failing to address the burning issues affecting the country and its citizens with any kind of effectiveness and urgency is now wearing thin. If they intend to make any kind of tangible progress within the next three years they need to have a plan that begins with identifying the critical issues of the day.

Like it or not, our country has once again found itself in the position it was in over 30 years ago.

Unemployment is once again on the rise; corruption of all types has become the norm with people of independence and integrity now an endangered species.

Mismanagement and waste continues to cost the tax payers billions of dollars whilst no one seems to know the exact state of the country’s finances.

It is no secret that economic depression and financial pressures on individuals and families, the elderly and the young continue to cause a sense of despair and hopelessness.

More and more of our young people are suffering from mental health issues, which leave them suicidal and depressed often vulnerable to predators who lure them into a life of illegal drugs.

The reality of the sum total of the economic and political situation is that those who lead our country and those who are currently sitting on the sidelines waiting for their turn have shown that they are not up to the task. Beyond the PR and backbiting there is little substance as to the way forward.

It was once said: “The greatest damage to the country has been caused by the failure of governments to foster among the population a sense of patriotism.

There is a lack of leadership, of vision, of planning and political will.

The vulture-like behaviour at the top has fostered materialism, self-seeking and individualism in all sections of our community.

The party in power has fostered the attitude of not what I can do for my country but what I can get out of it”.

That was over 30 years ago and tragically it applies today as much as it did then.

Mickela Panday


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