By Alred Frett, Contributor
A brand-new year but the old wounds linger. With no New Year fireworks in the Road Harbour, our national hero, Noel Lloyd, lying broken and prostrate in a desolate and powerless park and so many signs that our people still need all the help they can get, it is a glimmer of positivity to be told that some of the easements we said would aid in the recovery of our territory have finally been granted.
If true, this is a good step in the right direction and the efforts of Government would be appreciated. At the same time, with hurricane season merely six months away we should not lose sight of harsh realities we are still experiencing and although the Righteous claim these Hurricanes were sent by God to whip, warn and change us from bad to good, this is proving less and less likely with each passing day.
Hurricanes are really high winds and rain and as mother said: ‘If wind don’t blow you won’t see fowl petticoat which should always be clean in case of emergency’. Please ask them not to invite more storms for instead of kindness, help and compassion we see a heightened degree of evil, greed and even stupidity that fails to reason that we are all in this together and your failure becomes my failure.
Pretending to Help but abusing the Helpless
These winds exposed a magnitude of wickedness that pervades race, nationality, creed and gender – black and white, local and foreign, Christian and Jew, de-devil and she-devil, everyone and anyone, some were always bad and some who changed seem anxious to harm rather than help – contractors grab more jobs than they can handle; effectively tying up your progress of recovery and jacking up the cost.
The uninsured cower in despair as they see no way forward and persons surviving from paycheque to paycheque are buried in dismay as jobs are lost. After four months, many of those insured still have not received their insurance monies and are forced to endure repetitious excuses of delays and the frustration of being cheated out of funds they feel entitled to base on the premiums they paid.
At the same time, counterclaims are that some have received their Insurance monies but pretend not to so they can use this to indulge in personal gratification or embark on different projects rather for than the intended use. Meanwhile, tenants are victimized when landlords become social vampires and use this tragedy to overcharge, abuse and terrorize tenants they feel have nowhere else to go.
Just like in slavery, the rich and powerful are bent on conditioning us into accepting excuses for abuses and they hope we will never reason that every problem has its solution and oppression only succeeds when we fail to realize we deserve better… I am no different from you except that I refuse to subscribe to a hopeless and helpless mentality and totally believe our direction must be forward and not backward.
Why Fight when we can Rescue?
These storms have created a new and crucial beginning where no living person ever saw the BVI in greater need of solutions as our People lose hope and even die from the effects. Lack of leadership has been exposed and faith in insurance companies destroyed so, rather than penalize a suffering people, government should be ensuring that insurance carriers and landlords meet their obligations.
We know this is possible because greed is self-made and while it is no secret that I conceptualized NHI and they altered it, we have still seen it survive in this time of need. Subsequently, I am again proposing another solution that can help BVI property holders with a quick, practical, affordable and reliable Insurance system that can provide rapid response disaster coverage for all our structures.
This ‘BVI National Property Insurance’ (NPI) can be financed by reasonably adjusting existing property taxes to a prepaid status and structured level capable of providing insurance coverage for all our buildings. As a high-volume purchaser, government will have leverage and access to International re-insurers thereby securing affordable comprehensive Insurance for BVI homes and businesses.
Yes, we are still traumatized but such disasters are few and far between so in addition to providing coverage for a speedy recovery in the event of catastrophes, proper management can develop this System into a reliable source of local funds to be borrowed against for socially beneficial projects.
All required is for our leaders to stop fighting long enough to see the solution in this BVI-NPI vision.
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