Fri | May 24, 2019

Pour cold water on new Parliament building

Published:Friday | July 27, 2018 | 12:00 AM


In the wake of deep corruption, nepotism and misappropriation of public funds, with most if not all our parishes currently suffering from another bout of drought - now worsened by the effects of climate change, it is mind-boggling in the least that the Government, in cahoots with the Opposition, is daring enough to ask the Jamaican people to support a new parliament building at this time.

The Met Service has already alerted us that "over the upcoming three months, there is a possibility that this could lead to worsening drought conditions" and the National Water Commission is reporting that some central and southern areas are already depleted by 80 per cent.

The matter of drought is not a new problem, but it is a worsening one, and with all the talk of climate and disaster resilience by the current Government, one would have expected modernisation of the water resources and supply system to be a major priority.

Instead of a Parliament design competition, let us engage our most innovative and brightest to develop solutions for public water supply. There are still many areas in rural Jamaica that aren't properly served by the NWC. Let us engage our environmental engineers to work with the Government on sustainable solutions to combat drought and harness the rainwater when it is abundant.

A new Parliament building should signify a democracy that has leadership with vision, purpose and commitment to the people, just as how the move to Gordon House in 1960, two years prior to Independence, signalled something new. We have yet to completely separate ourselves from the British monarch and set up our own government structure. What then will this new Parliament signal?