What others are saying
What is the status of the national infrastructure in the wake of almost three weeks of punishing rains?
Besides the anecdotal evidence of motorists faced with the cost of replacing front-end parts and tyres on their vehicles, battered by the encounters with potholes, some of enormous dimensions, what can the Government tell us about the overall situation?
Similar questions can be raised about the state of agriculture as one of the most vulnerable areas.
Why is there no word on the reality of the situation?
Where do we stand on vital export crops like coffee, bananas and other foreign-exchange earners?
What of domestic crops?
Some persons will contend that to ask the Government of the day to respond is unfair.
It is argued that they are still finding their feet, having assumed office only a matter of weeks ago, hence patience should be exercised.
There is an old adage ‘Time waits for no man’ and indeed, time is not on our side.
The truth, however harsh, must be faced.
The new administration should not be tempted into believing that when the request is made for information, especially in such crucial circumstances as now prevail, there is ulterior motive on anyone’s part.
The demand must be treated with the urgency the situation calls for.
We fully recognise that it is not an easy time. The rains continue to come unexpectedly and with intensity.
While the official rainfall count for the time under review is not widely known, it is fair to assume that this has been a time of record rainfall.
The evidence is to be seen everywhere.
While the accounting is being determined and while the tally of the damage is being made, it would be quite appropriate, therefore, to let the public know the consequences.
Having said that, it must be a daunting task for the administration – new in the saddle – to have to face a challenge of such proportions.
The road-repair bill is not going to be small. Other areas of the infrastructure will be in the accounting. This is as good a time as any to prepare the nation for the harsh reality.
On the matter of agriculture, we were already in a critical state with food crops affected by Hurricane Dean.
Where do we stand now?
What linkage is to be made with the rapidly accelerating cost of fresh produce?
It is not to be forgotten that there is an overhang from Hurricane Dean also.
In many areas, farmers had not even begun to catch up before the new wave of bad weather hit them.
The time for the Government to speak to the nation is now.
It doesn’t matter if the news is not the ‘good news’ that an administration, fresh from the campaign trail of promises of better times to come, would want to make, but it cannot be avoided.
There’s no way to soften the blow.
People are more understanding than our leaders often imagine.
They know full well that it is no one’s fault. We have been ambushed by bad weather.
Let’s face it and move forward together.
From the Jamaica Gleaner