As hundreds of thousands of containers
pour into our country, so do a myriad of pests, insects, snakes and
lizards make their entry across our borders. The invasion of
non-native lizards has become so prevalent, that it’s beginning to
wipe out our charming and indigenous curly tail lizard. They consistently
devour the eggs and young of the curly tail and thus we see an extensive
diminishing of this native specie.
But this is not the only observed
negative and worrisome behavior of these creatures. They are laying
claim to our homes as well with a furious aggression; they have no regard
for the sanctity of our dwellings and unceremoniously enter through
even impossible ways. Once inside, and devoid of any potty training
habits, they proceed to defecate any place and every where, on table
tops, walls, curtains, windows, floors, etc., etc. Their feces
leave an unsightly mess which has to be attended to on a daily basis.
They seem to be immune to the ordinary household pest controls
and gleefully carry out their playful, fighting and mating habits with
total impunity. They constantly give birth to young who seem to
feel they are the preferred indoor pets. The lovely and native curly
tail has never presented any concern for us in this manner; they live
contentedly outside and give us simple joy to observe.
As these containers enter our
country, we seem to be basically only concerned about contraband, including
illegal drugs and possibly illegal aliens. But there are many
other unwanted and potentially destructive live agents which enjoy a
free trip into our land to create a new home for themselves. Just
observe what has happened to most of our glorious hibiscus flowers;
they are rapidly becoming an extinct species in on our island.
This has come about due to the indiscriminate importation of plants
with this almost totally indestructible biological agent. The only
known agent to eradicate, or at least levy some control over, this infestation
is another harmless biological agent. At present the Ministry
of Agriculture is solely responsible for taking action in this regard.
Yet the powers that be in that sector seem not to mind if that adorning
beauty of our islands totally disappears.
Over the past five years or so, we
have seen a number of strange and non-indigenous snakes about the island.
I’m told that they enter mainly through the importation of sod where
eggs and young hide amidst the grass and then make their way throughout
the island. If it has not already come about, we will sooner than
later have poisonous snakes with which to contend within our borders.
Now I am reliably informed by one of
our major pest control companies on the island that this phenomenon
of importation of foreign and destructive species can easily be controlled.
There is a standard obligation that any container leaving the Bahamas
for the US or other destinations must undergo effective fumigation before
it’s allowed to leave port. This same obligatory procedure should
be required of any other country sending these thousands of containers
into our country. The health and safety of our people depend on
this simple requirement and it is reprehensible and negligent on the
part of our authorities to allow others to so easily and blatantly disregard
I call upon the Ministry of Finance,
Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture and any other agency in
the country whose business it be to scrutinize what crosses our borders
to expeditiously attend to this matter before it becomes a national
catastrophe. As the method of transporting goods into our land
by way of containers, and as container ports expand rapidly, as they
are so doing, a comprehensive overview must be taken in order to eliminate
all foreign agents, and not just illegal aliens and drugs from invading
our sovereign nation. It is highly commendable what the Ministry of
Agriculture is doing in elevating farming to the dignity and status
it deserves in our land; it is indeed a profession befitting the highest
priority of attention. However, these admirable efforts would
be all in vain if precautions are not taken to protect our productions
from unwanted and dangerous predators from abroad.
About the Author:
Mr. Joseph Darville is a native of Long Island, Bahamas and a resident of Freeport, Grand Bahama.
Teacher [English, French] at St. Augustine’s College in Nassau.
Teacher [French] Senior School Coordinator and Guidance Counselor a Queen’s College in Nassau.
Past Vice-President of the Bahamas Union of Teachers
He is a founding member and past President of the Bahamas Counselor’s
Past President of the Grand Bahama Mental Health Association
Past Vice President of the Caribbean Federation of Mental Health
Founding member and Chairman of Operation Hope, [volunteer drug prevention, education & rehabilitation program]
Co-Chairman of the Bahamas National Drug Council
Founding member and Past -President of Grand Bahama Human Rights Association
Founding member of the Caribbean Human Rights Network
Administrative Vice-President of the Freeport YMCA for three years
is an Advanced Master/Teacher in Reiki training, a natural energy
healing method, as well as a teacher of Transcendental Meditation.
Presently, he is Director of Workforce Development
the Grand Bahama Shipyard. He has received many awards for outstanding
service and achievement in teaching, communication, and citizenship.
Joseph can be reached at email@example.com