Too much talk no action

Dear Editor,

Re: Rubbish, floods and tourists

Seriously, the only way things will happen is if the Prime Minister, Minister of Works or the M.N.R.E. boss and their families resided in the vicinity or danger zone, I mean low lying areas that experience the evil floods and destruction during the last cyclone. 

Until it happens to you, you can sympathise and then count your lucky stars you live somewhere else. It’s like changing the channel when you see the chaos in other countries; 5 second pause and then watch your favourite cooking show or sports team. 

It’s human nature, let’s not kid ourselves.

“Kalofa e … well at least nobody was seriously injured or died.”

All the “kalofa e’s” in the world don’t mean anything.

That expletive and putrid mud was what we had to deal with in the aftermath of Cyclone Evan.

The ‘not my problem’ mantra is alive and well friends. 

People only give a DAMN when they are personally affected.  They are invested and will do everything in their power if it hits home, literally. 

I bet you a year’s salary they will be the loudest, the most passionate advocate for changes, not for the sake of altruism and it’s the right thing to do … but because that is their reality. 

People would get fired up if they experienced the nightmare … and if it was recurring. People sit up and listen when they lose stock, expensive equipment and personal effects, family heirlooms, important papers, sentimental items, photo albums.

To add to the trauma (insult to injury) the subsequent looting of businesses, homes, vehicles whilst you are depleting the saving account due to funding the rebuild and paying employees who depend on the job to feed their families. Shortly thereafter, is the war with the insurance people who love to talk technical details and the rejection when no insurance company will even consider coverage.

Oh did I mention zero compensation from government since it was ‘an Act of God’? I guess you can rationalize these matters if you do not feel obligated to assist or take responsibility for the so-called inept experts and town planners.

The smell of dead animals, sewage and rubbish forever burns my nostrils and is etched in my memory during the massive clean-up efforts that followed. Accordingly, all the while trying to appear strong in front of the children and manage some sense of normality in the shell of a building you used to call home. You see people’s true colours during those hard times when your world STOPS and you stay the course for the sake of perseverance through adversity, staying strong and setting an example to the kids that there will be trials that test your faith.

The events of last week and the restless nights every night there is a change in the weather is status quo for the residents who live along the river banks.

Maybe this will be one of the Sheraton’s tourist attractions or stopovers for the cruise ships in lieu of the amazing Apia Waterfront Development Project.

Overhaul the ancient drainage system or build a proper barrier wall for goodness sake. TOO MUCH TALK AND NOT ENOUGH ACTION!


Mark Twain

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