Thu | Oct 21, 2021

Let’s find opportunities in this time of crisis

Published:Wednesday | April 7, 2021 | 12:15 AM


I would like to follow up on the thoughts of director of the School of Education at The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Professor Joel Warrican, in an article titled ‘Never waste a good crisis’, published in The Gleaner on April 2.

In one of the features on TVJ, a commentator said, and I paraphrase, “Notwithstanding the current global situation, opportunities exist ... .” Jamaica cannot afford to lose out on the opportunities that exist to solve or start to address the challenges that currently afflict us.

1. Hygiene and garbage disposal – The issues of personal hygiene have been hammered into us during this COVID-19 time, but we must extended it to our villages, towns, communities and cities. We must, individually and collectively, take responsibility for the nasty conditions in which we live. The schools, where this should be taught, are closed, but on reopening this must be part of our re-education. Starting with each community, each councillor/member of parliament must make a leadership impact, working with the Social Development Commission (for community clean-up competitions, for example) and the solid waste group to establish garbage disposal and collections timings and locations.

2. Sports infrastructure – Our playing fields and community centres have, by and large, been unused over the period. By now we should have pristine playing fields at each school and centre! Sadly, this has not happened, but there is still time. There is opportunity for public-private partnerships to be established in each community centre to install synthetic playing surfaces and playing courts for our future Reggae Boyz and Girlz and Sunshine Girls.

3. Rule of law – Each progressive society is built on order and the rule of law must be pre-eminent. The roadway is what all of us use, and instilling order there will have repercussions throughout society. Prosecute the people driving cars with one brake light working, the motorcyclists without helmets, the driving down the turning lane to go straight, overtaking on solid line, operating a public passenger vehicle without wearing a mask, etc. Catch up on the delinquent ticket holders … no more amnesty! Ecc 8 vs 11

There are other areas of opportunity, but as the Government may not have the resources to deal with all of Jamaica in one go, then I would suggest working on a community basis initially, and then scale up. These initiatives should be like a flowing sea to take Jamaica back from the brink of lawlessness to a land of beauty and to a place in which we want our children to grow.