Monday, Jul 22, 2019
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We have fallen short in infrastructure development

Dear Editor,

I do believe that Independence Day should be a time for reflection. As a young Bahamian living abroad, the pride and love I have for my country, culture and heritage are always displayed. Within five minutes of meeting me, you will know that I am Bahamian. I am constantly gaining knowledge, developing my skill set, exposing myself to different systems and cultures with high-priority intentions to use my talent to develop my country.

Lately, I have been reflecting on the progressively stagnant development of infrastructure in our country in the past years. With a country of so many scientifically creative and educated minds, past and developing, we have fallen short.

From the outside looking in, I do not believe there has been an educated and aggressive voice of representation in Parliament on the importance of developing infrastructure and urban planning in the country. In no way do I want to offend anyone, but how did we expect a doctor or lawyer to lead a team of architects, engineers, planners and designers? All I have seen growing up as a child are dilapidated buildings being patched up from contract to contract. Infrastructure is what drives the economy and defines a city.

As an avid traveler, I will fly to countries just to see architectural and engineered masterpieces. It is not because of my appreciation for structures.

Truthfully speaking, not many people care who designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Empire State Building in New York, or the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. All they know is that it is legendary and they want to have a picture in front of it.

When will we design an iconic structure or even an innovative hurricane-resistant smart home that will attract tourists from around the world?

When will we develop proper maintenance systems on our government buildings? Do we even have a full-time architectural staff in our public hospital? (This is critical and the importance of this is an entire different conversation that urgently needs to be addressed).

When will we realize that paying someone far less than the one-year cost of tuition is unattractive and unacceptable? When will we stop overlooking the talented Bahamian architects and designers for foreigners who will never have the same pride and love to work on a project within our country?

Undisputedly, there has been development in the past; however, there is an abundance of work to do in the future. Time to start thinking about what the future of The Bahamas looks like, which is centered on our infrastructure. We all can have a vision, but if the educated individuals who can bring the vision to reality do not have a voice in the conversation, how will it flourish?

– Tylen J. Asher Perpall

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