The disturbing and shocking pictorial images from both nightly local and international TV news are really traumatising so much so that they can force someone to vomit his or her heart out of sheer pain and agony.
Young people under 20 years of age and sometimes above this age bracket mainly of sub-Saharan African origins including The Gambia, are of recent and at all cost, bent on sailing in small boats and canoes across dangerous and wild sea waters/oceans to look for better conditions of livelihood (greener pastures) and employment elsewhere particularly Europe. This is definitely pathetic and gravely unspeakable.
The emigration and exodus of these youths who are our future leaders is a great cause for national concern and is indeed a pitiable situation. Disillusioned with what the future holds for them in their own country, these young men and women usually foray into unknown, perilous journeys to enter either Italy or Spain as gateways to other more economically strong European countries. Sometimes they are without any qualifications. Once started on such trips at sea, it becomes a real misery for them as they are left with nothing but a slim thread of hope that is at the mercy of high waves.
In the process, thousands of young lives are being lost beneath the murky waters of the Mediterranean, much to the sadness and trauma of their families. And for survivors, some are deported while the lucky ones proceed to Europe where they are confronted with new challenges indicating to them that Europe is not the Promised Land they thought it is. It becomes either a make or break situation for them. Those who get successful remit money or return home to raise standards of their families while those ones who could not remain liabilities to their societies.
This trip is a ‘win-lose’ situation and anyone attempting to do it should give it a second thought before investing their meager resources into it.
Safety of buildings and structures
I would like to take this opportunity to express my concern about the deterioration of attitudes towards safety and maintenance in our society. Safety precautions are necessary to avoid accidents and potential loss of lives as well as properties. Travelling around various streets and corners, one can’t help but notice with concern the decrepit state of buildings and structures within our neighborhoods.
Many of them show major fractures, signs of weakened foundations in concrete poles, and some of them situated just at a layer beneath the first row over the ground level. Often, children are seen playing in, under and around such structures. It is a good reason for serious concern.
I once witnessed an incident where a child playing in an environment of similar fracture on a perimeter fence lost an arm and both legs when a slab of concrete collapsed and fell on her. A boy playing football with his friends in his neighborhood also lost all his right foot toes when a concrete pole fell on his foot.
These and many more of such occurrences are enough reason for the people to undertake the construction of buildings and other structures with the highest sense of safety and professional engineering standards.
The old saying that ‘prevention is better than cure’ cannot be more appropriate. I hope as responsible members of society we will do something concrete to curb such threats.
Housing and safety authorities should do more to sensitise the public on the issue of safety. The building contractors should observe proper safety standards in constructing building structures to ensure safety of persons who are to inhabit it. We should remember that the life we save might be your own life.