[Barbados, Comment] Enough reason to shake your head

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[Barbados, Comment] Enough reason to shake your head

Unread post by bimjim » Sat Dec 10, 2016

http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2016/12/10/ ... your-head/

[Barbados, Comment] Enough reason to shake your head
Donna Every
December 10, 2016.

I’ve just come back from a short holiday and, as I didn’t submit an article last week, this week I will talk a little about the horrendous flooding last Tuesday as well as a couple of things have me shaking my head.

Someone sent me one of those created images on WhatsApp with the Prime Minister “saying”: “I should really spend some of the $7 million Independence money to clear these drains” after the flooding.

While my first instinct was to laugh at the image, I quickly realized that it wasn’t funny because the poor drainage in many parts of the country could have put people’s lives in danger. We are very fortunate that no lives were lost.

I found myself out in the deluge because I had to go to two banks that day. I discovered that pouring rain and flood conditions seem to be the best time to go to the bank because I walked right up to the teller in the first and had only a brief wait in the second.

However, getting back home was horrific. I had to turn around twice because I was not sure if my car could get through the water. And that was in a small area. I can only imagine how many times that was multiplied around the country.

WhatsApp is a great invention because you get information and pictures instantaneously and, in the flood conditions, it helped people to avoid certain areas or take other routes. I’m sure that anyone who was planning to go through Charles Rowe Bridge to get home would have been appalled to see the video of that car floating in the water just outside Chefette, but glad to find out before they too got caught in the flood.

I used to live in Rowans years ago and I don’t remember out there flooding like that in the past. Has the water course been blocked? And if so, how did Town Planning allow that to happen? I’m just shaking my head.

So the “joke” about the millions being used for the celebrations really makes me wonder about the priorities in the nation. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t have anything against celebrations if you can afford it but, if you can’t, surely you should scale down to something that you can afford.

That would be the equivalent of a couple being deep in debt and still throwing a big fete to celebrate a wedding anniversary, while the roof of their house is leaking.

Speaking of celebrations, I was quite eager to get my hands on one of the commemorative $50 bills that the Central Bank was putting out, but when I went to the bank on the day of the flooding, I was disappointed to learn that they did not have any yet.

I would like to have one to keep as a collectors’ item, but I would feel a lot better if I knew that the Central Bank was going to replace some of the existing fifties in circulation with these and that this is not just another ploy to print more money, in the name of commemoration.

According to BanknotesNews.com, which is a site that presents breaking news about international paper and polymer money, 1,500,000 notes were supposed to be printed and released on November 21, although I have not seen any yet. That amounts to $75,000,000! Really? It would be interesting to know how much money had to be paid to De La Rue for designing and producing the notes. I’m shaking my head.

The other thing that had me shaking my head this week was to see firsthand how pathetic our football association is. I’m not talking about the people who are trying to run it, but rather how underfunded it is.

My son was on the Under 17 national squad and was given a national kit for games, including a pair of socks, a pair of joggers and two polo shirts. Do you know that after the squad disbanded, the equipment manager called us up and asked us to return the kit? Really?

You mean to tell me that there is no money to buy the new group a kit? And the man had the audacity to threaten to call the police if we did not return the kit. I mean really? I have to assume that he was
joking, but I found the joke in very poor taste.

So we’re dealing with pathetic situations like that, roads full of potholes after the flooding, businesses having to file insurance claims because of flood damage but at least we can say that we have had successful 50th Independence anniversary celebrations.

All of the $7 million dollars was probably spent as well. As my great grandmother used to say: “You can’t be poor and show poor”. Well we certainly have mastered that.

The world may only see the glamour and glitz of Rihanna and Prince Harry in Barbados and the splendour of the Prime Minister’s Ball, but it is us who live here who have to deal with the caverns (I can’t call them potholes) in the road, the flooding and recycling football kits (to name just a few issues) because we are living beyond our means.

I’m just shaking my head.

(Donna Every is an author, international speaker and trainer. She is also the Barbados Ambassador for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (2014 – 2016), the Barbados Facilitator for the InfoDev WINC Acceleration Programme.)

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