Monday, December 5, 2016

Dumb and Dumber

To characterize the current Dominica Labour Party government as the most incompetent in the history of the Caribbean, let alone Dominica, is not an exercise in hyperbole; it is a statement of fact! From captain down to cook, this administration is populated by plethora of buffoons, linguistically-challenged nincompoops (Minister Cabinot comes to mind), a self-described dog, an alleged kidnapper, at least two functioning alcoholics, serial child abusers, a cherry tree picker, certified members of Roosevelt Skerrit's harem, and an incompetent tourism minister who is just as unqualified to be a tour guide. Leading this band of misfits is Boss Crook himself, Mr. Skerrit.

The last of couple weeks have borne witness to torrential rains throughout the island. Our infrastructure has taken a beating; roads have been washed away and the temporary bridges that were provided to us appear to be becoming permanent structures. Mother Nature continues to expose Mr. Skerrit. It has also exposed the incompetent Miriam Blanchard as well.

Ms. Blanchard is the Minister of Public Works; it is her responsibility to ensure that resources are available to quickly repair our damaged road network. It is also her job to ensure that the public is alerted to dangerous conditions on our roads. Social media is awashed with photographs of flooded roads and damaged infrastructure; no where in the countless photographs we have seen any evidence that Ms. Blanchard's ministry has done anything to alert the public to the conditions that exists on our roads. 

The situation with the Macoucherie Bridge is especially acute; the foundation of the lone temporary bridge has been severely compromised by the rushing waters of the Macoucherie River to the extent where one side has dropped several inches and is no longer level with the adjoining road. This is a disaster waiting to happen but Ms. Blanchard and her ministry have not thought it fit to alert the public of the precarious condition of the structure nor has her ministry taken steps to mitigate the looming disaster. What is Ms. Blanchard waiting for?

Macoucherie Bailey Bridge Foundation
Closeup of Macoucherie Bailey Bridge Foundation
Imminent Bridge Collapse
Robert Tonge, our Tourism minister is just as incompetent as Ms. Blanchard. At the end of October Mr. Tonge and his underling Colin Piper, to much fanfare, declared our tourist season open and stated that they were ready for the tourists they expected to flood our streets and our parks. But how prepared were they? Just days before the opening of the season, this government hastily decided that it needed to do patchwork on the roads to Wotten Waven and Trafalgar. A Bailey Bridge, which had been put in place after TS Erika, has remained impassable since construction. What were they doing since the close of the last season?

Wotten Waven to Trafalgar Bailey Bridge, October 2016
Wotten Waven to Trafalgar Bailey Bridge, October 2016
Mr. Tonge's failure was on display recently when a walkway in Wotten Waven collapsed under the weight of a few tourists. Thankfully they were not seriously injured but a glimpse at the walkway reveals to us all that its pending collapse should have been forecast had the officials at the Tourism ministry undertake an evaluation of our system. Is Mr. Tonge and his people so stupid as to not know that a wooden structure in the middle of a rainforest that is used as a walkway should be inspected regularly to determine its integrity? How many more failures can we expect through this season?

Collapsed Walkway
Collapsed Walkway
But Mr. Tonge and Ms. Blanchard are symptoms of a larger problem, which is the entire Skerrit government. Across the board, this government has failed us consistently. Roosevelt Skerrit continues to sell our passports without any inhibitions and he joyfully boasts that it is the most sought-after on the market. What Mr. Skerrit is not saying, however, is that the reason they're so popular is because they're the cheapest. But cheap products don't last. 

We demand that Ms. Blanchard direct her staff to take the necessary measures to secure the Macoucherie Bridge and to protect our lives. Should anyone be injured as a result of her negligence, she will be personally responsible.

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