The New Today


“The origins of our discontents”

Let me acknowledge without hesitation, that the caption of this article is a borrowed subtitle from the book titled “CASTE” authored by Pulitzer Prize winner – Isabel Wilkinson on the institutional and entrenched structure of RACISM in the United States of America, and how it adversely affects the everyday lives of Afro Americans.

That said, I see it as a sacred duty from those of us who are willing to voice our concerns about the governance and management of our “dear land of Grenada”, and to highlight the current state of affairs as they adversely affect our well-being and daily existence.

I am of the view that no one in Grenada at present- whether the individual, family, private company, hospitals, the schools, restaurants and hotels and all other facilities that use WATER on a daily basis – especially in the south of the island, in order to survive, have not been affected by the scarcity of this life sustaining commodity over the past few months, due to what has been described as a “natural drought” in this dry season (Dec. 2023 to May 2024).

The National Water and Sewage Authority (NAWASA) has been feeding the public year after year on the inadequacy of its storage system to meet the standard of living of a growing population and the demands of the construction industry in the 21st century, but appears unable to change (improve) this reality.

If storage capacity for national consumption in the dry season is the challenge, which has been identified over the years – and NAWASA does not appear to have the capacity to deliver – perhaps a revisit to its modus operandi as it affects its national obligation would be necessary.

A few years ago (about 5-6 years) NAWASA increased the water rates – ostensibly for the improvement of the service by planning to construct a number of large storage tanks to harvest the generous quantity of rain water that flows to the sea in the rainy season, instead of storing it for use in the dry season.

The funds raised apparently were used to build a multi- million-dollar headquarters on Upper Lucas Street for its workers in air-conditioned offices – perhaps without water.

Has NAWASA considered constructing a “storage lake” – somewhat like Grand Etang to solve its capacity problem?

In the construction industry – which is a sizable part of our economy – large hotels and other major infrastructure which are high consumers of water, continue to be built on our limited supply capacity, while water for our agricultural produce becomes unavailable, thus undermining our struggling food security, and the general public is left to scramble – as it were, to cook and have a shower, as I take this opportunity to say many thanks for the generosity of a kind friend who keep me alive.

The above scenario – in this the 50th year of our political independence, is to alert the Minister for Infrastructure of “The Origins of our Discontents”.

Norris Mitchell
Chartered Architect & Urban Planner