Fri 15th Oct 2010
Water is the jewel in St. Vincent's crown. We are blessed in SVG with a good, natural source of fresh drinking water. Our precious watersheds have provided for us for many years and given us life. We must protect and preserve them above all else.
We have survived many years without a 'Gonsalves international' airport and can survive many years more, because this airport is not our priority and it will not enrich our nation. We could not, however, survive years without water. Without water we will not be prosperous or healthy.
With the proposed Argyle airport, comes also the cross country road - they are inextricably linked. SVG Green Party has shown in its cross country road report (see www.svggreenparty.org/manifesto) that this road could permanently damage our fresh drinking water supply. We took independence so that Vincentians could control our country and live from its rich resources. Let us not destroy SVG's richest resource - fresh drinking water.
According to United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary-General, Asha-Rose Migiro, 'if present trends continue, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with water scarcity by 2025, and two-thirds of the world population could be subject to water stress'. In St. Vincent we are presently one of the lucky few countries; we have fresh drinking water. (see http://www.unep.org/greeneconomy/Portals/30/docs/policymakers_brief_GEI&MDG.pdf).
This country belongs to Vincentians alive, but also to Vincentians not yet born. As Vincentians, we have the right to use and enjoy our country, but as guardians of its resources for future generations, we do not have the right to abuse and destroy our country.
We cannot be prosperous if we have no fresh drinking water and our grandchildren cannot be prosperous if they have no fresh drinking water. We are lucky to have fresh drinking water. Let us not lose it, and with it, any hope of true prosperity, by building Argyle airport and the cross country road, which will surely devastate this rich resource.
For 31 years, there's been a thirst amongst our people for a brighter future, but present and previous governments have had a drought of ideas and ability. Our people have been let down for 31 years. A Green government will flood the nation with jobs and opportunities for all to prosper. A Green economy means true individual and national prosperity.
An SVG government should prioritise Vincentians not rich tourists. On election day the choice is stark, but real: an airport for rich tourists or clean, fresh water for Vincentians. We say vote Green, because access to water is life.
Let us join together, move in a new positive direction and take heed of the UN's words and go Green. Let us all vote on the policies that provide the best for you and future generations of Vincentians. We must adapt to change and create a win-win environment that preserves our water and creates highly-paid Green jobs for Vincentians.
Our national anthem is, 'St Vincent land so beautiful, with joyful hearts we pledge to thee, our loyalty and love and vow, to keep you ever free'. Let us not betray our anthem or our grandchildren. Let us make SVG truly prosperous and 'ever free'.