After reading the President of the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI), Roy Bodden’s Annual Report I can understand North Side MLA Ezzard Miller’s comment that the protective sea walls proposed for all coastal cemeteries on Grand Cayman are “a waste of time and money”.
The Department of Environmental Health says all graveyards will need a structured wall in place to reduce the risk of wave impacts and damage to the graves in the event of a hurricane.
Miller points to Cayman’s strongest recorded Hurricane Ivan when even that failed to wash out the graves in the cemeteries.
“The Government is broke,” he said, “how are they going to find half a million dollars to build a wall?”
In the meantime whilst money has been allocated to deal with a hurricane that isn’t on the horizon Cayman’s #1 Institute of learning, UCCI, has, according to its president, “the proverbial ‘sword of Damocles’ hanging over the University College’s head.”
“There can be no better illustration of the precariousness of the financial situation than to draw the reader’s attention to the situation between the Academic Year 2011/2012 when the Chief Financial Officer reported a modest surplus of just under half a million dollars, in comparison to the situation which exists at the time of this Report. The surplus has dwindled to a paltry CI$12,205.00, with no hope for improvement.”
On the infrastructure he said:
“Of an even more serious nature, however, is the ageing and dilapidating state of the Campus. Most recently, the University College received a citation from the Fire Inspectors as our automated fire alarm system is completely rusted out. While the replacement costs an unbudgeted CI$52,000.00, the situation could have been worse. The equipment, however, has to be replaced immediately. I am concerned also about crumbling ceilings in some classrooms and possible exposure to mould.
“There is no available nurse and gender segregated sick bay – an unheard of situation for a college of over one thousand students. This is a situation which can only be described as a “ticking time bomb” and yet there seems no attempt on the part of the Government to address it, in spite of the repetitive flagging of this matter in my reports.
“The Campus is not human rights’ compliant and is ill equipped to cater to physically challenged students. The only wheelchair ramp in existence, besides that leading to the entrance of the Sir Vassel Johnson Hall, has only been constructed in the recent past. This, of course, is compounded by a lack of elevators.”
So here we have a situation where we have a “ticking time bomb” waiting to happen because of a lack of funds and funds being allocated for something that may not happen and did not even happen from a Category 5 hurricane.
Does it take a rocket scientist to come to the conclusion what is the higher priority?