Joint effort needed

 

 
WE’RE approaching the middle of the month that officially marks the start of the hurricane season.
 
If we were paying attention to various news sources and weather officials in recent weeks, it would be painfully clear that after such a hot dry season, it will only take a heavy downpour to lead to flash flooding.
It is also important to note that CDEMA Head Ronald Jackson cautioned that with weather systems forming outside of the recognised hurricane months, it is a sign that climate change is having an impact on our weather systems and we are approaching a stage where we have to take preparations more seriously, year-round.
 
Especially since resources are limited, we must ensure that we do what we can at the community level to ensure that our surroundings are not only clean, but where possible, entrances to wells are not blocked.
This raises another important point, the issue of indiscriminate dumping and what it eventually does to our wells. Arguably there are perennial problems that we can get a handle on if we work collaboratively to ensure that our environment is clean. When we truly consider how everything is linked we will see that while we need the rain, if we don’t clean up our act in the shortest possible time, not only will we have the problem of flooding, but we will see the rapid resurgence of the aedes aegypti mosquito, the widespread breeding of which has been thwarted by the lack of rainfall and therefore fewer breeding sites. That doesn’t mean that we can forget all that we have learned about the spread of Zika, Chikungunya and the literal and figurative headache that they posed a few short months ago.
 
The dumping could inevitably contaminate our groundwater supply and is also very unsightly, but we must also take into consideration that the garbage which is actually swept away in floodwater, or regular rainfall for that matter, will ultimately get to the sea.
 
Over the weekend, there was an underwater clean up off the pristine waters of the Folkestone Marine Park and it was truly disturbing to see some of the items that were recovered.
 
It shows that we have to be careful what we do on land, but those on our beaches must exhibit a level of responsibility that is non-negotiable.
 
Watersports operators and operators of pleasure craft have to be particularly strict about what is happening on their boats and on the beach because any harm done by to marine life is a direct threat to their livelihood. So the last thing we would want to see is dive masks and beer bottles and other recreational items which could have drifted from the shore, but we can debate that some of it came from persons who were not as careful as they should be out to sea.
 
There is no doubt that it must be a collaborative effort since everything in the environment is connected. If one link is broken then the impact that it could have is more than this small island developing state can take.

Barbados Advocate

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