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To all who care about Barbados


DARLA TROTMAN

To all who care about Barbados

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NOW THAT celebrations marking 50 years of Independence are over, maybe we can get back to the reality of what is happening towards the ruining of this once beautiful little island.

My major concerns include:

• The airport provides bad first impressions for visitors on arrival. Two to three hours or more to clear Customs after a long flight is not acceptable. No smiling faces or greetings. Not a good impression of Barbadian hospitality or a good way to start a holiday. Tourism is our business?

• The entire island is becoming one large pothole. All highways and roads, with the exception of the major highway, are back to back potholes. There are more holes and cracks than there are smooth surfaces. In a number of the smaller communities, the roads are washed away completely.

• In recent times the Queen Elizabeth Hospital has lost power. The back-up generators have malfunctioned and the hospital has been without any power for a considerable time. This has happened more than once. This kind of life-threatening situation is totally unacceptable.

The hospital runs out of medications and supplies regularly, and equipment is constantly breaking down and left unrepaired. Shortage of doctors is becoming overwhelming. Doctors have to work double shifts, without sleep. This is an unacceptable situation for both the doctors and the patients being treated. Patients’ lives are at risk.

• Sewage plants and pumping systems are breaking down and not being repaired. Sewage is bubbling up through manholes on the road. The stench and the health hazard are totally unacceptable. This is a major health hazard and the potential for serious illnesses is imminent.

• The Barbados Water Authority has its woes. The majority of its system is ancient and disintegrating. For the benefit of everyone in Barbados, the attention given to this sector must be paramount.

• There is general neglect of the upkeep of Government buildings and environs throughout Barbados. It is a necessary practice that all buildings and environs must be continuously kept clean and in repair. The Government of Barbados seems incapable of this practice. It does not seem to understand you cannot just build it and then leave it to the elements.

There are too many sites to identify all: The Central Bank is looking shabby; Queen’s Park is finally being addressed after being neglected for 25 years; the Central Library, empty and deteriorating for a number of years; and the Empire Theatre, a magnificent example of early Barbadian architecture, left to rot. Too many schools are in bad state of disrepair. And so on and so forth.

• The visual culture of Barbados is being neglected and ignored. The cultural community has been struggling to survive over the past 50 years. A National Art Gallery has never been established. The National Collection of Art (that has been purchased in the past) has been stored and neglected. There is always a lot of “talk” by politicians, but very little support or action.

The National Cultural Foundation has been taken over by the organisation of Crop Over, and has little time or monies left for the promotion of other cultural support. The New Cultural Industries and Development Authority is a just another Government agency that has no understanding about promoting culture.

All of the above concerns have been ignored by the Barbados Government. The people of Barbados talk about all these concerns, but neither party does [much] to address the situations.

I am only one person. If there are others who see what I see, or care about what I care about, speak up, write letters, make phone calls, complain to the powers that be.

Help save this beautiful island, and return the beauty for everyone to appreciate and have pride in.

Let the next 50 years begin with positive actions.

– DARLA TROTMAN

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