Fighting the growing scourge of poverty in Barbados is what Trevor Prescod, Barbados Labour Party candidate for St Michael East is determined to do if his party wins the next election.
“Don’t tell me that the per capita income of Barbados is higher than anyplace else when I see large pockets of poverty in families from generation to generation who have never owned a parcel of land, Prescod said.
“Families that rented all their lives and received all the ills of being a tenant. I can’t believe that is the way we ought to live, therefore I know I am relevant now. I will do these things fearlessly, I will fight against poverty.”
Though he came from humble beginnings, Prescod has never forgotten the road he took to get there. Prescod grew up in the community he represents and is passionate and determined to fight for the people of St Michael East.
“I was shaped by St Giles School. I was shaped by the Barbados Community College, by St Barnabas Church, by the University of the West Indies. I was running about in the district doing all the things that boys do. Without any reservation I can tell you I beat people, I fight, I stole canes or mangoes, and anybody who wants to be deceitful and hide that upbringing that’s a matter for them,” Prescod says unapologetically.
"I am thankful that my mother is still alive at 95 and can feel proud that her son never went to Her Majesty’s prison. That I never found myself in a mental institution and that my mother was able to see me end up in Parliament.”
Prescod who has served previously in BLP and Democratic Labour Party administrations feels that the country is facing a crisis of mammoth proportions and views this election as extremely pivotal. He counts his experience as being essential in helping to bring the country back from the abyss.
“I believe that this country has found itself in a crisis and as a result it is even more imperative to be part of the body politics in helping to restore the balance that is so necessary at this time,” Prescod revealed. “This is not a time for rookies, or amateurs to speak about superficial things that are not important to competence. I don’t question myself about my competence because the people have determined that.”
The years Prescod spent living and working in the Howell’s Cross Road community, has helped him become very familiar with the people and the issues that are critical to them.
“There’s a high level of hopelessness among the people in the community. There’s high unemployment in St. Michael’s East. We have still to resolve a number of classifications in the community as Zone 1 pockets,” Prescod said. “There are some homes that don’t have water. Homes that in 2018 are still using outdoor toilets or dry pits. How is it that in 2018 we can have all the developments in science and technology and we can’t find a simple way to resolve the problems that people are facing living on the Zone 1 pocket.”
So committed is Prescod to that cause that he is making it one of his first priorities should he and his party win the election.
“I’ve given myself the commitment that before I withdraw from electoral politics there is one thing that I must do for sure and that is to resolve the problem in the Zone 1 pocket. If I get that done within the first year of returning to parliament I can make a fundamental transformation of the lives of the people who live on the Belle Estate, in Odessa McClean, in Licorish Village, in My Lord’s Hill and Howell’s Cross Road,” he said..
According to Prescod if an osmosis plant is put in, citizens in the Zone 1 pockets can have water toilets in their homes. They can go from having wood or purple heart to wall houses. “They can have proper infrastructure of roads inside that pocket including natural gas. All the people who live on those lands are described as squatters,” he said. “I don’t believe there’s anything more humiliating as to be saying these people are squatters. I would love for them to be equally as dignified as anyone else.”
While Prescod feels that Barbados has come a long way in its development, he admits that the country has not been able to eradicate poverty.
“What we are seeing is that poverty is on the rise in Barbados. Poverty is not just being poor. Many other aspects of social desperation are connected with poverty,” he said. “We are having a lot of problems with children in our schools. We are facing new complexities. In the past 10 years, people felt that they could learn on the job. You can’t learn on the job if the family is in crisis. You don’t experiment with people’s lives. That’s why I’m here.”
The above is a paid political broadcast sponsored by the Barbados Labour Party. The views and opinions expressed in this broadcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of the Nation.