by Ian Mabon
First published in The Tribune, Saturday, May 23, 2009 and republished here with the kind permission of the author.
As we await the start of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season in two weeks time, I couldn’t help but notice the considerable flooding that resulted today (May 19, 2009) from a mere two inches of rainfall. At certain locations on East and West Bay Streets, downtown and in the Dowdeswell Street area it was almost knee deep for a while, glaringly highlighting Nassau’s inadequately maintained storm drain systems.
These are generally so choked with soil, weeds, rubbish or a combination of all of the above as to be totally incapable of performing their intended function. In the Fort Charlotte area for example, the street sweepers “sweep” the debris from the road verge almost daily but not one of them bothers to lift the inspection plates in the sidewalk, let alone clean out the drainage channels below, that are meant to channel the water from the street into the drainage swale.
The result is traffic congestion, further erosion of our already dreadful roads, and stagnant standing water especially in low lying areas, causing damage to properties, illness from water supplies contaminated by overflowing sewerage systems and invariably, a severe island wide mosquito problem.
The government, God bless them, continues the struggle to upgrade the condition of the roads and verges, clean up our filthy island and educate our slovenly people about the consequences indiscriminate littering and dumping has on our tourism industry and our own lives. Let’s have the relevant department heads out there giving some direction to their staff, instead of hiding behind their suits, so the job gets properly done in a timely fashion and we all get what we’re hoping and paying for.