To the Deputy Prime Minister: The Hon Ivan Collendavelloo

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It’s all very well promising water 24/7, but the expectation was it would flow from the taps rather than descend nonstop from the heavens. After all, foremost of people’s beliefs is that wizard politicos should provide for their every want, piped directly to their homes (or placed in envelopes) and either free or heavily subsidised. Perhaps your magic ministerial wand needs recharging. Miss could have found the funds but wasted them on tablets for toddlers.

While it’s splashing through your mind, you’ll be concentrating on how to capture more of the rainwater that’s flooding the island – before it becomes polluted with pesticides and fertilisers on its way to the sea. In most coastal regions, poor Poseidon continues to lament the absence of drainage leading to treatment and recycling plants rather than wreaking havoc on marine life.

Of course, your current post is singularly appropriate as ‘loo’ comes from the French word l’eau. The English used to shout gardez l’eau when they chucked the contents of their chamber pots from the upper floors of their houses into the open drains running along the middle of town streets. It became loo, of course, because the Angles weren’t terribly good at pronouncing French, even in those days.

In many ways, the drainage systems in the Middle Ages weren’t much, if at all, better than those in Ancient Greece, but at least there was enough open land for the waste to flow somewhere. Mind you, the blame for rainwater having nowhere to go nowadays lies as much with the Admirables as with the authorities. Houses are built over old water courses and, while a nice little stream looks innocent, no one considers what it’ll look like when the rain piss ar zot. As for the way people throw rubbish everywhere, no wonder the drains are blocked. Meanwhile, local authorities only seem to notice they’ve got – or haven’t got – drains when they overflow. In many cases, even where there are drains, they lead nowhere. Hoping functionaries will find solutions is as deluded as believing bloggers know what they’re talking about. When public money is spent on infrastructure, a specific officer needs to be given responsibility for maintenance, with banishment the penalty for failure.

You may be in charge of wastewater but the Land Drainage Authority seems to fall under the NDU, one of whose missions is to “protect the population from flooding”. You might have a word with its boss as the Authority seems to be stuck in the mud – unsurprisingly as many functionaries relish putting spanners in the works, further blocking the drains, firmly believing they’ll never be sacked.

Meanwhile, thinking of your future, Britain’s Baron Sugar (not to be confused with sugar barons) has called for a new criminal offence for politicians who fail to uphold promises made during an election campaign. “If they lie… then this should be a criminal offence, as it would be if I lied to my shareholders.” Not that that’s any more likely to become law there than here. However, you and yours might just win the next election if all the promises made in 2014, many at your instigation, were not only passed but implemented. Either you start moving fast now or you may as well be put out to grass. Incidentally, so matters aren’t further muddied, Judge Dread will note that this is the grass found in lawns not yet concreted over rather than on mountainsides or in plantations.

Yours sincerely
Epi PHRON

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