Far too many areas of Grand Cayman are an eyesore. Hurricane Ivan struck more than one year ago and there are still places that appear to have been hit yesterday. Yes, some people are still struggling to get back to pre-Ivan conditions. However, there are many examples – easily seen from major roads – that cannot be excused as Ivan casualties any longer.
Abandoned cars, piles of old tires, overgrown weeds, garbage lying on the ground, etc. are far too common, especially for a society that enjoys one of the world’s top-ten per capita incomes.
Hurricane Ivan is now a part of our history. That terrible event in September of 2004 does not excuse the sights residents see – as well as thousands of tourists – when driving between the airport and the George Town waterfront, for example.
The Caymanian Compass encourages our readers to take note of this problem while driving. It is easy to overlook the eyesores because we see them every day. It becomes appalling, however, when one imagines themselves as a tourist seeing Grand Cayman for the first time. Nature gave us beautiful waters and white sandy beaches but we cannot coast on that alone forever. We must do better at presenting a clean and orderly society, both for ourselves and our guests.
This editorial does not point the finger at government. They should not be responsible for making sure every resident keeps their land from resembling a landfill. However, government does have a crucial role in addressing this problem. Government must lead.
We call upon the Cayman Islands government to make an issue of Grand Cayman’s current state. While the bulk of the burden falls upon private business and individuals to clean up this island, government needs to assist with organising and directing the effort. We are confident that there are many people here who will give a few hours a month to improve Grand Cayman’s appearance.
It is easy to envision companies adopting portions of George Town, for example, and having their employees attack it with rakes and brooms on a Saturday morning.
What is needed first is a well-planned, sensible strategy that has the blessing of government.
This can happen without placing additional strain on the country’s budget. The free labour is here. Call them and they will come.