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Hiking safety

Published: 
Friday, June 1, 2018

The tragic drowning of hiker Akil Stafford at Three Pools in Blanchisseuse on Wednesday morning underscores the importance of undertaking these exercises safely under the guidance of experienced guides familiar with the terrain and watercourses.

Stafford, a young San Fernando resident, was reportedly part of a private group that embarked on the trek along that scenic trail.

Unfortunately, hike involved a body of water which required some expert guidance to navigate safely. It is important for hikers to know in advance what the trail entails.

Some people panic when their feet don’t touch the ground and even the security if a life jacket isn’t enough in circumstances where panic sets in.

The Hikers Association of T&T (HATT) offers useful guidelines and advice. They also can provide information on properly sanctioned groups, as well as hiking trails and safety protocols.

A full investigation should be done into the circumstances of young Stafford’s untimely death if only to determine how to avoid what went wrong.

Hiking is a healthy pursuit that allows participants to appreciate the lush, natural beauty of this country. However, it should also be undertaken with trained and experienced leaders of groups the following proper hike management protocols.

It is also important to screen hikers, make sure they are physically capable of the trek and informed in advance of the level of difficulty involved.

Dog houses and chicken coops

The level of misinformation and panic caused by statements made during the Senate debate of the Property Tax Bill should serve as a cautionary tale for Finance Minister Colm Imbert and others about the need to keep citizens fully informed at every stage of implementation.

Because this matter has been the focus of considerable political friction, it will always be all too easy for misunderstanding to take root. The only way to counter that is by making sure there is a free flow of information.

At present, there are still many property owners complaining bitterly about having to pay tax for the dog kennels and other animal enclosures located on their properties.

It might also spare the nation a lot of unnecessary worry and trouble if there is also time and frequent release of information relevant to the implementation of the Revenue Authority.

All’s well . . .

Based on their comments in recent days, it looks like the recent exchanges between Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha general secretary are not indicators of a broken relationship.

The good news is that Mrs Persad-Bissessar still has respect for Mr Maharaj and he for his part has indicated that she is always welcome at Maha Sabha events.

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