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A New Year’s wish for clean environs

Sunday, December 29, 2013

In China, people walk through the cities with masks to protect their health from the thick cloud of filthy smog. Here, a walk downtown is equally hazardous. Most areas, including green spaces, smell like urinals not cleaned since 1962. Sick-looking vagrants scratch themselves, piss and crap everywhere. The crazy ones gyrate to sounds they alone hear. There’s pity on beggars, so those get the odd dollar or two from passers, or boxes of KFC, which keeps them in the city.


Most of the pavements probably were not repaired within the last 50 years, given the wide black cracks and craters. Sure, bullets often fly in the city, but that could not account for the number of large, pockish marks. Against the old Salvatori Building wall, the 50th anniversary of Independence poster with faces of national icons is an ironic advertisement for a city in shambles. The air is thick, and the sun is hot, but clearly it shies away from the stench. It hides as it takes revenge with a heat that stifles. 


Captain Cipriani’s statue graces the dump in the heart of the wealthiest country in the Caribbean region. It is a broken-down concrete jungle where the perfumes of faeces and exhaust fumes dominate the environment.


Leave the city for a while: just on its outskirts at the Beetham is the spread of the black, tarry scrap iron business littering the sideways. No public authority in the past or present time has found it necessary to take corrective action. Their children do not live in the area. Are they afraid of the criminals? That is why every time the government talks about its concern about crime, it is only words in foul-smelling wind. Who is the minister overall in charge?


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