Decay in infrastructure affects Baha Mar and all our islands

EDITOR, The Tribune.

My ongoing experiences with inadequate drinking water here on Eleuthera dovetails with new criticisms about the air conditioning at Baha Mar, and the potential effects of smoke from the nearby smouldering New Providence landfill on tourists.

Tourists who enjoy their first visits to our islands, and tourists who will return, year after year.

Tourism is all about infrastructure providing the services 100% of tourists in today’s modern developed world consider essential: reliable water, electricity, air conditioning, access to the Internet, phone and cell service, smooth roads, clean air, access to healthcare, access to prescription medication, law enforcement they can trust, and more.

Without these services, tourists will refuse to return.

One must understand the ongoing decay of roads, sewer, water and electrical supply, and wired and wireless infrastructure, some constructed and installed decades ago, is normal.

This decay is experienced by municipalities worldwide. But as too many are just learning, repairs and upgrades must be planned and executed on a carefully laid out 5, 10, 20, and 40 year plan.

And adequate funding for rehabilitation and eventual replacement must be written into the Government’s budget every single year.

My experience with inadequate water supply on Eleuthera can be used as an analog for all the Family islands, and New Providence itself.

I found the roughly 36 mile-long water pipe supplying middle Eleuthera was built years, decades ago.

The supporting soil and rock are beginning to subside, and the pipe joints are leaking as the pipe sections are gradually displaced.

One week a break here, a week later another break there. (With each breech comes contaminated water causing serious diarrhea, and possibly worse).

Finally the leaking becomes so serious all the Corporation’s capital is used fighting old problems, and they simply cannot supply 40psi, the pressure target for all developed municipalities. (I have recently learned the Corporation is forced to simply turn off the water supply to one or more communities at night, to hopefully store water for the next day).

If our new government collects and properly spends the capital required for a reliable infrastructure, the tourists will come. If not, The Bahamas will increasingly become a retreat for only the wealthy; people able to buy their own water privately, to install their own generators for light and air-conditioning.

It is up to the new Administration to provide hospitality and gambling resorts like Baha Mar the opportunity, the chance, to become profitable.




June 19, 2017.


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