Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Letter of the Day | Toothless anti-litter law

Published:Thursday | June 1, 2017 | 6:07 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The beleaguered Jamaican economy has definitely got to be over thinking the solutions to its pathologically poor performance that has plagued it for just about the 55 years that Jamaica has claimed its independence.

It renders me intolerably impuissant on the most common occasions when the streets of our cities get littered with refuse without even the least of objection; and this past weekend was certainly not differentiated on witnessing a passing vehicle, as if dutifully so, ridding its interior of its disposable contents on one of the nation's busiest thoroughfare.

I took courage, though as a fellow student, independent of knowledge of my experience of despair with this problem, simultaneously lamented the overrun by our cities with refuse in another forum.

Our anti litter act to this date, decidedly exists in the form of the proverbial barking, toothless dog. If an objective analysis were to be conducted on the amount of revenue to be generated in penalties from our anti litter act, no pun intended, it could be said of the Jamaican society that it's one that thrives on trash.

Again, it should come as no surprise though, that the source of the legislation to treat with this chronic problem are themselves perpetrators. Just effortlessly consider what ensues from any road repair efforts in the streets of Jamaica. As far back as the first repair work ever effected on some streets in Jamaica there has been debris that has now become permanent obstacles on our sidewalks from that occasion.

At this point in time though, at crisis proportions, our enterprise might just be able to break even if we act at once, and no later. Albeit an astronomical amount of revenue to be generated from enforcement of the anti litter act, it perhaps will just be enough to either mitigate or effect a reversal of the collateral damage sustained to the environment. These days it takes no amount of rainfall to inundate the island, and suffer gravely needed productivity.

In the final analysis, the relentless leadership crisis in Jamaica is to be blamed for this and a plethora of problems that beset Jamaica and its economy.

Politicians leerily calculate the opportunity cost of their actions on the basis of votes. So, the disingenuous cry of the self- entitled tribal supporter of the masses that goes, "how you a pressure poor people so?", will continue in perpetuity to be the politician's injunction against affirmative action, unless there comes revolutionary action.

E. L. Johann Walker

BSc Economics & Statistics Majors

The University of the West Indies, Mona