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Living in ah see-me-tree


When ah hear de poor doctor lady’s plight at Clare Valley, way de lickle house de Lord provided foh she and she daughter, just crumble like when yuh step pon ah piece ah birthday cake, ah remember de words of ah lickle Sunday School chorus we uses to sing: “The wise man built his house upon the rock, dah dah dah dah, dah… The rain came down and the floods came up, dah dah…And the wise man’s house stood firm. Verse 2: The foolish man built his house upon the sand; dah, dah, dah, dah, dah…. the rain came down, and the floods came up dah, dah… and the foolish man’s house went “splat!” (clap yuh hands once).{{more}}

Patches Knights couldn’t put it better in his Kaiso, “Ring de Bell Come-red”: “ Ah never see more mess! And wutlessness!” Now Lie-Za dey wid ah long list ah quest-shuns bout de Clare Valley housing project, and not even me wid me lickle Land Surveying training could answer. Her first quest-shun is if de Housing and Land Development Corporation (HLDC) went thru de proper procedures getting approval foh dis Housing Development at Clare Valley. And de answer to dat quest-shun is ah Big Noooooooo! Capital “N” capital “O!” Now tell me if it is not Madness, foh de Go-venom-mint to just wake up one morning and say, dey going build one hundred and fifty houses in virgin territory widout de proper planning or research. But den again, Lie-Za says dey did it wid de Argyle Airport, no money, no proper study, just MT promises. Vinsent-shun Engineering Consultant, Haz Samuel in ah simple statement of fact sums it up correctly when he wrote: “ De Airport was to be finished in three years is now into its seventh year with an official cost estimate that had ballooned to EC$700 million….and no credible end in sight!”

And dat is how it is in SVG, de Go-venom-mint has perfected de art of doing things their way, disregarding Rules and Regulate-shuns if necessary. De Clare Valley project never went to Physical Planning; it didn’t have to go, not if de Prime Minister is de Minister of Planning, and if he say houses must be built at Clare Valley, nobody on earth could stop dat. It is amazing dat HLDC didn’t know about ah Soil Map of SVG dat was available from a , was produced and published 2006, by Nazeer Ahmad. Interestingly dat study was done for de current ULP Administration. Vinsent-shun born Clive “Bish-I” Bishop, ah qualified Agronomist wid ah Masters Degree, informs de nation dat Prof Ahmad’s document clearly RULED OUT de slopes at Clare Valley, way de housing scheme is presently located, as ah suitable site foh construction or even certain types of agriculture, de soil in de area shrinks in de dry season, and swells in de wet season. De foolish men built de houses pon de sand, certainly ah recipe foh disaster foh ah housing project. Ah never see more Mess and Wutlessness!


Maybe if only de HLDC had submitted ah development plan of de area to Planning foh approval, it would ah bin denied and all dis Mess would ah bin averted. But dey were hell bent on building Low Income houses in Clare Valley. Lie-Za is wondering how much credibility there is in de Awe-position’s accusations, dat de Go-venom-mint housing program is an Elect-shun strategy to “Build houses by de hundreds way de ULP is weakest, move in dey supporters and win de Elect-shun.” Ahhh Boy, Ole people say “Hand plat rope, but de same rope does come back to tie Hand!” De Plot Back Fire! How easily dey devised ah Plan to get around Planning. Ah Cuban Surveyor was recruited; he produced ah Survey Plan of one hundred and fifty-five house lots in Clare Valley. De Plan was approved and lodged at de Land and Surveys Department wid de signature of de Chief Surveyor, Ollivierre. Ah had ah quick look at dat Survey Plan and what struck me was de lack of drains on dat Plan, dey’s no provisions foh inter-lot drains foh exactly 100 of those parcels, an early recipe foh disaster. Ah local surveyor would not have produced ah plan of such magnitude widout proper drains, bearing in mind de terrain.

Dis is not just Wutlessness but Wickedness! Ah don’t want to instill more fear in de house owners at Clare Valley, but it must be frightening to go to sleep at nights in dat development. If dat poor doctor lady and her daughter were in de house dat crumbled, dey would ah been buried alive like Patsy Jack, under Jack’s wall at Ratho Mill. Yuh know up to now Patsy’s surviving relatives have not received ah Red Cent compensate-shun! King Solomon in commenting on his experience about Wickedness said: “I saw in de place of judgement – Wickedness was there; and in de place of justice – Wickedness was there also! Maybe 5, 000 years ago, King Solomon had ah peep at SVG.

My add-vice to all is also taken from de Sunday School Chorus: “So, build your house on the Lord Jesus Christ, dah…. Oh, the blessings will come down, as your prayers go up, dah, dah, dah, dah dah!” And wid dat, is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy!!

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.