• Charles Leslie Jr. - Belmopan

Stop Apologizing for Failed Policies

A counter argument to Belizeans whom say government is not to be blamed for the flooding that is taking place in Belize City.

Indeed, Government cannot control Mother Nature, and will never stop a natural disaster, however, with proper investment in certain mechanisms and infrastructural systems, damage can be reduced and promptly mitigated, and even avert disaster.

Case in point - Hurricane Katrina: On 29 August 2005 there were over 50 failures of the levees and flood walls protecting New Orleans, Louisiana, and its suburbs following passage of Hurricane Katrina and landfall in Mississippi. The levee and flood wall failures caused flooding in 80% of New Orleans and all of St. Bernard Parish. Tens of billions of gallons of water spilled into vast areas of New Orleans, flooding over 100,000 homes and businesses. Responsibility for the design and construction of the levee system belongs to the United States Army Corps of Engineers; the responsibility of maintenance belongs to the local levee boards. The Corps hands components of the system over to the local levee boards upon completion. When Katrina struck in 2005, the project was between 60-90% complete.[1] Five investigations (three major and two minor) were conducted by civil engineers and other experts, in an attempt to identify the underlying reasons for the failure of the federal flood protection system. All concur that the primary cause of the flooding was inadequate design and construction by the Corps of Engineers.

Unfortunately Belize City sits below sea level. After Hurricane Hattie in 1962 destroyed approximately 75% of the houses and business places in low-lying and coastal Belize City, the government proposed to encourage and promote the building of a new capital city. One of the main infrastructure in Belmopan was a robust drainage system that works its charm to this day, though it needs upgrading and expansion to compensate for future growth, since Belmopan has the highest growth rate in the country.

This is not a blame game, the fact remains that no municipal or national government has ever seriously invested into upgrading and expanding a proper drainage system for Belize City, since, well, it sits below sea level.

The apologists can continue apologizing for failure of policies which translate into loss of life - structural violence kills more people than any other form of violence, but it goes unnoticed since it is not crashing waves, smashing cars or booming guns - loss of property and loss of livelihood.

This is not a PUP, UDP - and now we in the BPP are being condemned by the apologists for paying lip service - issue, this is a national issue, which continues to translate into a national tragedy and travesty because of the FAILURE OF THE POLICIES OF THE PUDP.

If half or a portion of the 30 million Mayor Bradley spent in building streets for political mileage was invested into a proper drainage system, this, what Belize City is experiencing now, would not be at this level of disaster.

Reference: Worse flood in Belize City's recent history!

#udp #pup

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