The issue: Salt Cay. The tiny island, smallest of the inhabited TCI islands and home to little more than 40 full-time residents, is still in a bad way after hurricanes Irma and Maria. The seawall at its harbor on the north side was damaged, and continuing sea surges are filling it in with so much sand that it’s becoming almost impossible for the ferry from Grand Turk to get in with supplies. These are vital supplies: food and water. Nothing comes in any other way; the cay doesn’t have good soil for growing food, and the only way to get water is from the sky. The government cisterns were also fouled during the storms.
For the full story on this disaster, look at this article in Caribbean News Now: http://wp.caribbeannewsnow.com/2018/03/12/smallest-inhabited-island-in-the-turks-and-caicos-threatened-by-vanishing-harbour/
The gist of the story is that nothing has been done about the problems since the hurricanes. In December (two months after the hurricanes), the TCI government held a meeting to ask residents what their primary problem was. The unanimous reply was, “fix the seawall.” By this past week (in March), nothing has been done, and the Caribbean News Now article noted, “A source said the government of the TCI wants to spend $700,000 to do a study to see what is needed instead of spending a fraction of that cost to repair the sea wall now.”
I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this. I’m spending my political two cents on three words: Do it now.
Government of the TCI, make this a priority. I know there are lots of places that still need post-hurricane help, but this one involves people’s lives. Make this a priority. For a while, forget cutting deals with foreign developers to increase tourism, commissioning studies, honoring successful business people and ferrying yourselves around the islands for meetings that go nowhere … help your own people!
I’ve watched too many people take on government jobs and run for office not to provide service to others but to aggrandize themselves (in my country, too!). It’s time to remember the “service” part of government service. You are there to help others. People vote for you because they believe you will help to make their lives better. So go and do it. Please.
Blog readers, share this with those who can solve the problem, and with those who have the political power to make those people solve the problem. Get it done.