Saturday, 8 October 2016

Managing Community Risks

The Jamaican Constitution guarantees every citizen certain basic rights. As a result all Jamaicans are viewed as equals before the law. Unfortunately, we live in a society where the laws are not always adhered to by some of the citizenry. All across the corporate areas and in some parts of rural Jamaica, areas once considered as prime residential locations have been allowed to be taken over and changed into commercial purposes without any sanctions to those involved in such practices. In recent times there have been influxes of junk yards selling used car parts. In many instances these used car parts are stored on top of buildings or elsewhere without being secured. The government needs to act now! Any delayed action will only make matters worse. The situation poses huge risks and hazard for communities all across the country. What would have happened to all those unsecured car parts stored in junk yards and elsewhere if hurricane Matthew had hit us? These used car parts form the basis of peril and threat to the life and security of residents. The Kingston and St. Andrew (KSAC) and all the other relevant government agencies need to act with a sense of urgency to address this growing problem. The issue of the inconveniences associated with junk yards in residential areas cannot be underestimated. Many residents have suffered and continue to be denied ready access to their homes since patrons of these entities park anywhere that is available blocking off entry to their gate. It cannot be that anyone because of wealth and or political connection is able to do just about anything without thinking about his/her responsibilities to the wider community.  Jamaica’s 20/30 vision of promoting the country to become the choice to live, work, raise families and do business will not be achieved if we do not manage risks in a communal manner, mindful of the rights of others. Development cannot be sustained in this unstructured manner. There needs to be some monitoring of these junk yards by the authorities. Additionally, these used car parts also serve as a haven for rodents and well as mosquitoes. We all have a right to enjoy the country of our birth regardless of social class. In the words of Dan Shechtman "sustainable development requires human ingenuity. People are the most important resource".