The Alliance For Change (AFC) is accusing the PPP/C administration of “turning its back” on the people of Mahdia saying that the government has failed to address critical infrastructural needs in the country.
Speaking during the party’s weekly press briefing on Wednesday, AFC member Sewnauth Punalall indicated that a team from the AFC visited the community over the weekend and saw a great contradiction in the social conditions. “On the one hand wewitnessed a bustling town growing rapidly as a result of rising prices of raw gold, yet on the other hand we saw social degradation, squalor, and disorder,” Punalall said.
According to him, some parts of Mahdia have been without potable water for almost six months and residents have to purchase this vital commodity from supply trucks which charge as much as $6,000 for a 400-gallon tank. A litre of bottled water, he said, is sold for $500
Pointing to other infrastructure, Punalall said the roads “to Mahdia and within Mahdia are in a deplorable condition. These roads have numerous potholes and are slushy and slippery when wet and dusty under dry conditions. Clouds of thick dust arise when it is sunny making visibility very poor for drivers as they pass one another. “This may have contributed to two serious accidents on the Mabura trail on Friday,” he said.
Identifying the absence of proper garbage disposal facilities, Punalall said that “as one enters Mahdia the first unsightly scene is a large garbage dump in the vicinity of the airport,” he said. “It is obviously true what the residents say that there is no proper site for garbage disposal and therefore illegal garbage dumps, which pose a serious health hazard, can be found in many places,” he added.
“It is a travesty for this government to have turned its back on the people who live and work in these communities, without a care for its moral, social and health infrastructure, yet is more than willing to cash in the gold that is delivered to the gold board,” Punalall declared.
He pledged that an AFC-led government will do all it can to improve the infrastructure in Mahdia as well as other hinterland communities. “It is our belief, that mining communities such as Mahdia which pump millions of scarce dollars into our national economy should have an equitable share of the pie to ensure safe roads and good social services,” he said.
According to Punalall, an AFC government will not only ensure that order is restored and that there is a stricter application of the rule of law in these communities, but just as importantly, ensure that the people’s holistic health and wellbeing are taken care of.