By: Earle Clarke
We have been hearing from the Minister of Education about the construction of the New Basseterre High School on the Aquifer, but the Minister of Public Works who is responsible for the Aquifer is totally absent teacher in allaying the fears of the population of the country, never mind the inhabitants of East Basseterre, that their water supply would not, in any way, be affected by the construction of the school on the Aquifer. There are two reasons which could possibly be responsible for our East Basseterre representative to be in silent mode about such a disastrous affair: (1) He is Totally in disagreement with such construction work, but is unwilling to rock the boat, preferring to remain silent so that he can continue to receive his monthly salary, or (2), The representative has become so corrupted by those with whom he has associated himself that he doesn’t care a damn if the contaminated water from the Aquifer contaminates the health of his constituents or those who come to visit and are guests in parts of his constituency. I heard the name of some persons called who indicated that all will be well if the school is constructed on the site. When the unity mirage was waging war on the Basseterre High, local, regional and International scientists were approached and their findings were made public in the media.
The Government said that they have consulted with some local professionals who gave the O.K. for the building to be erected, but we have seen no report of their findings, only mouthing from the Minister of Education. One of the local advisers must tell us why she resigned her post immediately after the victory of the unity mirage and why she now finds it convenient to have her name besmirched with the erection of a school occupied by over a thousand students and teachers right on top of an Aquifer? I am not aiming any personal attacks on the reputable reputation of the person.
All I am interested in is (1), as a resident of East Basseterre, that I be given the impregnable assurance that the inhabitants of the area will never be at risk: (2) If the lady could not work under the unity mirage, how professional is she to advise the same mirage under whom she could not work that it would be safe to build a school with toilets on an Aquifer which supplies drinking water for thousands of residents and visitors in the area? I personally would like to see her explaining this to me in a Town Hall Meeting or on a Panel Discussion on T.V. Dear reader, in 1972, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant was built in the Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union. This plant was well fortified to withstand earthquakes and other disasters, yet, on 26th April, 1986, nine years later, there was a huge catastrophe which claimed the lives of over 40,000 (forty thousands) persons and contaminated the area to such an extent, that it will be impossible for anyone to live there, or even plant food there, for the next 20.000 years (twenty thousand).
Then, there was the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in March 2011. This facility was constructed in 1967 and commissioned on March 26th, 1971. Its reactor had a high atomic and earthquake safety level when it was made; despite all these safety precautions, an earthquake and a tsunami, wreaked disaster upon it, causing it to be shut down. All the precautions taken, yet it became vulnerable to the elements against which it was built to withstand. It would be naïve and very unprofessional of me to compare the disaster of a nuclear facility with the erection of a school on an Aquifer.
The lesson I was attempting to point out is that, with all the precautions one can take to prevent mistakes and calamities and disasters from taking place, our attempts and our efforts are not 100% fool proof. Mistakes can be made. Man made things only last for a while. Just imagine something going wrong with the collection of the stool and the urine and all that waste impurity entering our Aquifer and we drinking and bathing in that filth? Would we be able to sue the company in Miami which advised us that it would be safe so to construct the school there? By the way, before the construction, could we see the recommendation from this company so that we could digest it?