NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the country’s societal gaps according to Civil Society Bahamas president Dr Anthony Hamilton, who noted that a wide stakeholder collaboration and unity behind a national plan is needed to navigate the country’s future.
Hamilton said: “During Dorian we had some serious challenges and now with COVID-19 things are similar, it’s just different dynamics. All the gaps in society that we have are now being revealed. I think it is a grand opportunity to get things realigned properly to face any kind of disaster we face as a nation.”
He continued: “When you look back at the NGO bill, the very things we were speaking about Dorian came and exposed them. What we have right now with COVID is the same thing. The lessons that we should have learned from Dorian I don’t think we have and we are repeating some things.”
“I think it would be good if all Bahamians spent some time reviewing the preamble of the constitution and the constitution itself.
“A lot of times politicians forget that they came out of civil society and one day they are going to return to civil society.
He said: “When we have that kind of realization our thinking patterns would be different and we would give consideration to what kind of results in terms of policy and decision making we are going through can I live with it when I am out of politics.
“We need to take a look at a proper national development plan for the country. I think all of these things we see happening are speak to that. Do we know where we are going as a nation? I certainly think that civil society has a major role to play.”
Hamilton noted that the national development plan is key to ensuring this nation has targeted development goals and is achieving them.
Hamilton said: “We need to tie the national development plan to the constitution. Our forefathers had a vision for this nation. We need to go back and examine what the vision for this nation really is and take ownership of it in order to move this country forward.
“We have the five year cycles and do some serious things in those cycles. We end up wasting resources, beginning new stuff that is costing us and end right back up doing it all over again. We need to stop that,” he said.
“We need some way to be able to measure and determine whether we are achieving what we need to achieve and if not make proper adjustments. The younger generation needs to some have some kind of foundation to build on. That is a critical thing right now.
He added: “I don’t see this nation being short on any talent or skill. We can do this . We need unity.”