Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 9th 2014 Contents A31
Friday, May 9, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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Is T&T being manipu-
lated by some of the
banks and rich business
people to devalue our cur-
rency? Business people
are crying out over the al-
leged lack of foreign ex-
change but the Central
Bank says they have re-
leased more than the de-
mand. So where is the
I would like to suggest
that someone, or a group,
is buying up the US$ and
hoarding it, causing a per-
and based on an article in
a local newspaper, are cre-
ating a possible condition
They will then use the
hoarded US$, (which was
purchased at the old rate)
to conduct their business,
then raise the price of
their imported goods, due
to the new cost of foreign
The same business
people will then say how
the devaluation is good
As a member of a Social Justice
group that is trying to improve the
standard of living for a neglected
community, I am asking the Min-
istry of Education to please build a
preschool for the Belvue, Dibe, Dun-
donald Hill community.
Currently, the community centre
is being used as a preschool. This
means that the teaching staff (who
are extremely frustrated) have to
arrange all the partitions and chairs
every morning when they arrive in
order to “transform” the centre an
education facility, and then pack
them up every afternoon to facili-
tate the community centre, which is
often used for various activities.
We have pursued every avenue.
We met in a Minister’s office, fol-
lowed up with the Minister of Edu-
cation to the point that we were
assured that “it was in train”.
It seems lately all we are getting
are excuses: “They need to do a soil
test; the dilapidated children’s play-
ground is in their way; they need au-
thorisation from the Diego Martin
Regional Corporation, who owns the
land, before they can build anything
on the site,” etc.
I recently attended a community
meeting in the district where a gen-
tleman stated that since he was
five years old he has been hearing
about a preschool for the area. He is
now 53 and it is no closer to reality
than it was then.
As a last resort I am appealing to
the relevant authorities to please
take some interest in this neglected
community and provide this long
awaited preschool, a necessity
which may just help in relieving
some of the frustration that has
helped create the monster which
we can no longer control.
The ODPM CEO’S comments in
the T&T Guardian on May 3,
suggesting that this year’s fires are a
symptom of “drought and climate
change” are, in my opinion, both
misleading and irresponsible.
First of all, we are not in a
drought situation, we are in the dry
season, an annual event that has
taken place for millennia. It is our
equivalent of winter, a time of rest
and a natural rhythm for the
indigenous species of the tropics.
Granted, the severity of the sea-
sons vary from year to year and cli-
mate change is, without doubt, dis-
rupting their predictability
worldwide. At present we, in T&T,
are experiencing a harsh dry season,
but this is not drought, and many
areas, particularly in the Northern
Range and North Coast, are still
green and lush.
It is in the urban areas which are
subject to squatting and unregulated
development where the fires begin.
Year after year they eat their way
further into our precious water
sheds and forests.
Secondly, it was stated that the
bush fires are a symptom of climate
change. Nonsense. The fires occur-
ring in T&T are caused by people
lighting fires. Not sun, not drought,
not heat, not lightning, not “natural
combustion”. It is a huge mistake to
imply that they are a natural occur-
These fires happen because indi-
viduals, whether through ignorance,
indifference or malice, break the law
of the land which prohibits burning
from December 1 of each year—
though few people, including the
protective services seem to know
It is a law which, like most, is
not enforced. Each year, with
absolute predictability, columns of
smoke rise up behind homesteads
and gardens as the rains subside.
They start small. The huge fires
that raged across St Ann’s, Lady
Chancellor and then down into
Maraval were started by one person.
This is not speculation. This is fact.
The long-term damage in this
area alone will take many years to
heal—if it ever gets the chance to.
We have absolutely zero effective
educational thrust, no serious public
announcements, no enforcement of
the laws, and no one, ever, is
brought to account. It is a case of
“Nero fiddles while Rome burns”.
The mild surprise, or total indif-
ference of the majority of people
who sit back and watch the hills
burning each year is a symptom of
our general ignorance and apathy to
the bigger picture.
Columnist Marc de Verteuil com-
ments on the ravages of bush
fires, Monday, in the T&T Guardian.
BUSH FIRES ARE
CAUSED BY PEOPLE
A jogger makes her way through the Bamboo Cathederal in Chaguaramas on Sunday. This is a popular
place for fitness enthusiasts. PHOTO: EDISON BOODOOSINGH
We need a preschool, not excuses
for the country, as our
goods and services are
more competitive on the
We then await a repeat
of the cycle.
Scheming to devalue
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