Island dwellers missing out


It seems that the Government’s development aspirations today are focusing too much on developing our cities, towns, mainland and hinterlands while giving little attention, if any, to those living on small islands in our 14 maritime provinces.
The Government is looking at boosting services and to achieve that goal it is targeting areas with land that can be developed for cash crops, or where we can mine minerals, oil or gas, or develop forestry and other things.
These areas that stimulate and generate revenue are where the Government invests the bulk of its resources to boost the nation’s economy.
In these targeted areas we see the upgrading and sealing of existing roads, new roads and bridges built, agricultural programmes, rural electrification schemes and communications towers. They are provided clean water and sanitation, better healthcare, education, and the list goes on.
You can’t argue much with the way the Government is prioritising things. However, our wealth must be distributed fairly to ensure every citizen from all corners of this country benefit.
Coastal people, especially those living on small islands, need development too.
Island dwellers have limited resources and as the Government pushes ahead with a development programme that favours the big players, the small people are pushed back.
We have little or nothing to contribute to this nation’s economy, and that is the predicament we are in. Our dire situation is exacerbated by natural disasters and the effects of climate change.
The question is how the Government sees us our future, like 20 or 30 years from now.
Just think about that.

Hanam Bill Sandu
Concerned Islander