After last Monday’s storm the usual comments were read and heard: the damage sustained, the cost to the insurers, the cleaning operations, the near misses.
There was no comment on the real culprit for a substantial part of the damage.
No one commented on the excessive building development taking over agricultural land over the years. No one commented on the building in and along valleys. No one commented on the lack of water cisterns in residential units which although a legal requirement since 1881 is more honoured in the breach.
Who is responsible for all this?
Successive governments and the public administration in the last 50 years is responsible for this mess. It is in fact the cost of incompetence.
The storm would have happened anyway, but :
If all residential units are provided with rainwater cisterns there would certainly be less stormwater gushing around in the streets. Certainly no overflowing sewers as still happens in a number of localities.
If less building development was permitted over the years there would be more land available for the recharge of the aquifer. We would also have substantially less vacant dwellings
If rubble walls along valleys are properly and regularly maintained there would be less obstruction to the natural flow of water.
If no dumping of waste occurs in valleys, there would be less obstruction to the natural flow of storm water.
But this has not been so. Hence the scale of the damage.
The damage caused by last Monday’s storm is the accumulated cost of incompetence.
published at di-ve.com on 7 September 2012