THE EDITOR, Sir:
Recent news reports have highlighted a serious health and environmental issue at the Pedro Cays which undoubtedly needs to be addressed urgently. Other issues have also been revealed. One such issue is the repeated failure of our system of governance to encourage organised developments and, in the same vein, to discourage and prevent informal developments.
Further, when faced with informal developments, our government has at best failed or, at worst, refused to act swiftly to prevent their growth and reverse their effects. Indeed, if we are determined to realise Vision 2030 or any other vision of sustainable development, we must take a far more serious approach to how we develop communities and places of dwelling.
Until we implement a system of governance that prevents or reverses informal settlements, then unsanitary, disorganised and unwholesome 'developments' such as those which occur at the Pedro Cays, in front of the University of the West Indies Hospital and along several of our gully banks, will continue to thrive.
For years now, this country's growth and our limited resources have been impacted severely by persons whose way of life is to 'capture' land and develop it in any way they choose. This 'development' is usually in a manner which is inimical to not only their well-being, but also to the well-being of the environment and other Jamaicans.
If we fail to appreciate this simple fact and act accordingly, then any talk of developing Jamaica as a place to live, invest and raise families will be simply talk, and talking without more is something for which right-thinking Jamaicans have had enough.