It would have been politically convenient for Free National Movement Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis to apply more pressure to Prime Minister Perry Christie and his government over the catastrophic city dump situation in New Providence.
The City Dump, located off Tonique Williams boulevard (formerly Harrold Road) sits right in the middle of one of the high density commercial/residential areas in the capital island. It has long now been an item of health concern and a major fire risk.
Often, smoke from the dump has caused discomfort for those residing and working in the general area. Students have had to spend days away to avoid health issues because of the smoke. On Sunday, there was a fearsome blaze that threatened homes and business houses. Some of the buildings were scorched severely by ignited flying debris. There were roof damages. Also, the rooms of some homes sustained heavy fire and smoke damages.
The sitting government bears responsibility for a situation long left to become an even greater problem. On Sunday the massive fire occurred under the watch of Christie. No doubt, he expected an onslaught of criticisms from his political opponents.
Well, at least in the case of FNM Leader Dr. Minnis, it was time to demonstrate political maturity. He acknowledged that his party (the previous FNM Central Administration under Hubert Ingraham) bore part of the blame for the vulnerability of the area due to the condition of the city dump. Instead of targeting this government, he went about pointing out how his party would address the issue if it succeeds in the upcoming general elections.
Of course, it needs to be noted that those in opposition always speak to solutions when it is not their direct responsibility.
“We have to look at the bigger picture. We have to look at the educational system so people understand more about the environment. You cannot approach it (city dump) by just dealing with acute episodes. You must have long term planning,” said Dr. Minnis.
He spoke about recycling as an option. We believe if the appropriate scientific approach is too costly though, perhaps it is time to consider another location. The outlook of Dr. Minnis is significant. In this political cycle, the rhetoric abounds. Dr. Minnis took the high ground and more and more, his political style is becoming meaningful.
The plight of the displaced families, who had to leave their smoked and singed homes, calls for non-partisan attention. This is the kind of national crisis that necessitates all heads coming together to figure how best to move towards a solution.
Indeed, Christie should invite Dr. Minnis, other high profile political leaders, Christian and civic leaders around the table to discuss the city dump issue.
It’s that important.
If Christie does in fact cause such a meeting to happen, he would be showing political maturity.
Published Thursday, March 9, 2017