Sometimes the truth really disappoints. But it’s better to know the where one actually stands rather than believe something that we wish were true. And we make this statement today in reference to a matter that we have spoken about repeatedly over the last six months. Our deplorable water resources. We have been getting by with a broken healthcare system and antiquated school infrastructure. We are forced to make do with possibly the worst road structure and traffic management system in the region. And daily, we count our lucky stars that our number didn’t call as yet, as crime and murder spiral out of control despite the efforts of a few.
However, the lack of an adequate water supply makes our existence miserable and compounds all of the other ills that we’re forced to endure daily. We now have some sort of semblance of the truth about why we seem to have a permanent water shortage in this country. We would like to believe that our dams and reservoirs are being replenished by a network of canals and water courses to channel the runoff during the rainy season. But the truth is that, like cavemen, we are dependent on direct rainfall over our reservoirs for a supply. Can you believe that? We are on the brink of the year 2020 and we still use prehistoric tactics to catch water. Maybe now, our opening remark may be a bit clearer.
A significant portion of the country has been inundated by several feet of flood waters for the past week. And year after year, various parts of the island are devastated. Yet, no one in authority, past or present, has ever made it a priority to construct even the simplest of canals to channel water towards our dams. We are an island surrounded by water but we have made countless excuses for not constructing desalination plants around the country to supplement our ‘waterholes’ that are dependent on rainfall only. And to make matters worse, we have as many leaks as an old strainer to waste the little that is produced. The Meteorological Service says about a month’s worth of rain fell on southern portions of Trinidad over the last week. We wonder, how much of that water made it to our reservoirs ahead of the upcoming dry season?
Trinidad and Tobago always seems first in line to lend assistance in times of disaster in the region. We behave as though we are still the most prosperous nation in the Caribbean, spending lavishly on mega million dollar projects at are unimportant. And we continuously try to convince ourselves that the good ole days of high oil prices are just around the corner. We need to wake up and face reality before it’s too late. We need to act quickly and fix our decaying infrastructure, especially our water resources, before we find ourselves in irreversible problems. It is beyond comprehension that we are still as backward as we were a century ago, two decades into this new millennium.