Today I wish to write about roads and how we solve the problem of poor roadways in Trinidad & Tobago, but before I start, I want to tell a personal story.
I was a typical nine year old, just living to play. At the back of my house was a playground and I spent more time there than anywhere else. I had absolutely no interest in schoolwork and the thought of doing homework on a table lit by a kerosene lamp made from a glass jar with a cloth wick was not attractive.
One afternoon after classes were over and I was rushing to leave the classroom to play, my schoolteacher Lynette Stout said to me “Steve, you know life is about choices, you can choose to do little or no school work and end up cutting grass at the side of the roadway or study and become a successful person. But the choice is yours.” It was the first time in my life that anyone outside of family showed interest in my schoolwork. My grand mother was always encouraging me to study, but she did not count as I expected that kind of advice from a parent. I responded “Miss, I want to be successful.” Thereafter, she took me under her wings, and I never came anything less than first in test until I passed the Common Entrance Examination.
What does that story have to do with our roads? It demonstrates how the simple effort and care of one person can change one’s life and by extension families that follow. In Trinidad & Tobago there are families who must walk daily to access mobile transportation as the roadway cannot support cars. There are people who spend thousands of dollars in car repairs simply because the roadway in their community is so bad.
From Barrackpore to Moruga, Sangre Grande to Toco, Point Fortin to Cedros, the story is the same, terrible roads. If one government dare to care, to see the economic and social potential of simply fixing our roads, they would positively impact the lives of many.
But the willingness must not simply be to repair old roads, it should be to upgrade all our roads to international standards. Solid foundations, high grade aggregate, proper engineering, and adequate drainage. That must be the goal. We have the materials, expertise, and finance to fix all our roads in Trinidad & Tobago. What we desperately need is for someone like a Lynette Stout to see the problem and commit to fixing it. By so doing that simple action can increase economic activities throughout Trinidad & Tobago.
And somewhere in some remote place in Trinidad & Tobago a little boy or girl would be able to get out of their house and access regular transportation and perhaps change our little island positively. Political will, and appropriate caring personnel is the only way we can seriously address the road situation in T & T.
God Bless Our Nation.