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'Leave the vegetation alone' - Mr John Lewis

- Advocates for government to stop cutting down vegetation during hurricane season
A ghut in Cane Garden Bay. Talk show host, John Lewis has called for better management of ghuts. Photo: VINO/File
John Lewis, talk show host, expressed his concerns about the territory’s vegetation being cut down during the hurricane season. Photo: Youtube
John Lewis, talk show host, expressed his concerns about the territory’s vegetation being cut down during the hurricane season. Photo: Youtube
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Appearing recently as a guest on the television show ‘Honestly Speaking’, talk show host John Lewis, expressed his concerns about the territory’s vegetation being cut down during the hurricane season.

“We have the habit –during June and July- of taking machines into our ghuts and we take all of the vegetation out and then Thursday night into Friday morning we have this huge storm and you have the habour flooding,” said Mr Lewis, on the show aired on July 18, 2017 on CBN Channel 51.

Mr Lewis added that he has been advocating for some time now for Government to leave the vegetation alone.

“He continued, “Just let them go ahead and take out all of the bed spread, box springs and leave the vegetation. However, somebody has to go in and clean the ghuts but instead of cleaning the ghuts, they are dirtying the sea.”

Responding to Mr Lewis’s statement, Ms Shaina M. Smith commented that she would have liked to hear the Premier, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) address an environmental legislation during his Mid-term Report: “We are not serious about our environment. That is what keeps the soil from washing down into the ocean.”

Leave the ghuts alone

Mr Lewis, during the show recalls that in Fish Bay the development of the water shed has been changed and as a result, when there is persistent rainfall, the flood barriers are not able to handle the volume of water and in turn it starts to flood.

“Why are we afraid to raise the flood barriers with adequate capacity… It makes me wonder why we have to continue in making those same mistakes. Leave the ghuts alone. Let the grass grow. Let the trees grow,” emphasized Mr Lewis.

Mr John Lewis commented that he cannot understand why is the concept of not cutting down the vegetation something that is difficult to comprehend.

“Is it now important to pay a guy just to clean the ghuts? We can pay him to maintain the ghuts, to make sure that the trees are there. Let’s plant different trees and let’s have places that we can develop into water holes so that the animal can go there and get there water. Why can’t we do simple things that make more sense?” explained Mr Lewis.

Posing a question to Mr Lewis, Ms Smith said, “Why are we not doing what we are supposed to be doing?”

In response, he pointed out that persons in the community are afraid to speak out against what they know is wrong because of the fear that they might lose their jobs among other things.

He said, “Our people have become dumb. They can’t speak anymore. They are afraid to speak. I think there is fear of losing jobs and that fear will have a negative result. Those fear will lead to violence. If two young men can no longer talk about issues without trying to kill each other, then that is fear. We can’t say to our politicians, we need constitution reform. We are not demanding it.”

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