Why every Dominican should be enraged
By Hector 'Spags' John
May 18, 2016 5:38 P.M
Roseau, Dominica (TDN)
Recently, there have been a growing chorus of calls for the Dominica Opposition to take to the streets in protest over government’s handling of issues plaguing the country from the economy to crime to unemployment to morality. Undoubtedly, these issues affect Dominicans at every social level, religion and community.
The revealed incompetence of the Roosevelt Skerrit regime and its inability to adequately address these issues are wreaking havoc across the Dominican landscape.
Of particular note is the fact that the farmers of Dominica are not getting the financial, technical and marketing support from the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) government. Imagine, the small number of banana farmers are finding it very difficult to export to the regional markets and so fruits and vegetables ripen and rot on the farms. Johnson Drigo the agriculture minister promised an April 2016 opening of the Abattoir. We are still waiting.
Qualified Nurses are resigning in droves and are being recruited by lucrative external health care institutions. Patients are waiting up to 12 hours at the Emergency Unit of the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) before they can be seen by a doctor. Residents from Calibishie to Crayfish River and arears around the main airport are left without a hospital, since the closure of the Marigot Hospital because of termite infestation.
Public Works Corporation employees cannot remember their last pay day, but the former Works minister as well as a former board member can find money to buy a by election. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent to buy an election but the DLP government cannot pay local contractors that they owe.
The communities of Coulibistrie, Colihaut Dubique and Petite Savanne affected by Tropical Storm Erika continue to be abandoned by the DLP Government. After eight months, some dislocated residents are moving from house to house while others don't know when their housing, property and small business issues are going to be addressed.
To compound matters the hurricane season begins on June 1, 2016, and there is no Office of Disaster Management. So there will be no training at the community level to prepare villagers in case of a storm. The road leading to the South East part of the Island is dangerous and in some places almost impassable putting peoples’ lives at risk. How are they going to get to town, if the O’Delices section of the road collapses during the rainy season? This would leave close to 10 000 residents cut off from the rest of the Island.
It’s been several months since three prominent individuals were arrested and charged with sexual and indecent assault of a minor yet the prime minister has yet to publicly address the pervasive sexual abuse of our minors. People who are simply standing for our children are being threatened and victimized by government operatives. It is alleged that social workers are finding it very difficult to do their work.
Colleges and University students at home and abroad who are sponsored by the government are finding it very hard to do their exams and register for new classes because the government has failed to honour its commitments with these learning institutions.
It gets worse as primary school teachers are left to purchase teaching materials for their classes while Ambrose George seats in the Scott’s Head bus stop with a notepad and pen trying to buy an election. Shockingly contrary to public service regulations, senior government employees were observed in Pointe Mitchel assisting with the preparation of a DLP activity at about 2:30 P.M on Friday May 13, 2016.
With regard to the critical public services the Dominica’s Fire and Ambulance Department has been totally neglected by the DLP government. Equipment are inadequate and outdated. Quite troubling is the fact that Police officers who refuse to ‘kiss up’ to the prime minister, will not get promoted regardless of their outstanding performances.
Across the globe authorities in several countries have started investigations into the local companies and individuals involved in the Panama Papers. What is the delay in Dominica? And what are the authorities attempting to hide?
Dominica’s private sector is going through a very bad economic phase. What has happened to the request made by the Joint Consultative Committee on the Construction Sector (JCCCS), calling on the government to retract the contract awarded to NSG Management and Technical Services Ltd of Barbados, worth approximately EC$18.2 million for replacement of the West Bridge?
The Unions are not united and find it very difficult to energize their base. Leaders have been undermined and in some cases compromised and are therefore afraid to act in the best interest of their members even when there are legitimate reasons.
Finally every Dominican who is affected by the incompetence of this government including farmers, teachers, sanitary workers, vendors, taxi operators, nurses, police officers, firemen, youth, parents and others are feeling the squeeze.
Yes, we all should be enraged, we all should stand together to protect our country. The Opposition is everyone who does not agree with the policies of this government. If you are being negatively affected by the policies of the government, you should take a stand.
DLP supporters turn out at a recent rally.
Let us stop looking at each other and stand together to deal with this common problem. This is OUR struggle. So stop hiding behind the excuses of the religious cloth, mortgage payment, award of scholarships, and pending promotions; and stand on the side of Dominica.