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OAS/GNT Sustainable Heritage Endorsement Programme

PHOTOVOICE PROMPT #4: This is not the Grenada I once Knew

What do you see here? (Addressed to the whole group)

Brick wall (red, yellow, green)           Lots of vines

Natural stream (low flow)                Stones

Glimpse of curved road                   Unkept bushes

Heliconia leaves                                Banana Shrubs

Brown poideau leaves Slight slope

Pockets of shade Running water

Why did you take this photo? (Addressed to the photographer)

I took this photograph to reveal that what used to be a large body of water has now contracted to almost a mere trickle. This drastic change definitely reflects my opinion that this is not the Grenada (or the stream) that I once knew.

What is really happening here? (Addressed to the whole group—alternatively what does the photograph represent?)

The mere trickle (or continuous drops of water) from the stream is, nevertheless, linked to the concept of water insecurity—it is as if the once large body of water has lost a tremendous amount of weight to become a slimmer version of itself. It might be safe to say that the stream might be on a water diet. Similar to the respective large-scale and small-scale water insufficiencies in both “Pump Up Another Bill!” and “Unhealthy Health Foods”, so too, a medium-sized level of water insecurity is present in this “Contraction” photo. In terms of the cultural impact, this once major water source that was used for recreation and consumption now has a lower water output that is symbolic of Grenada’s overall energetic level. After all, and in general, water is the source of all life-forms as well as water can be equated to the loss of life. The social costs of this water famine, and other, water shortages, will somehow affect the community’s and Grenada’s washing, bathing, and fishing capabilities. As well as the water inconveniences here in Grenada are also reminiscent of the water deficiencies in regards to access to clean water and the global water wars that are currently taking place in some African countries and elsewhere. Regarding the economic penalties that are bound to have some types of impact on the Grenadian economy, less fishing expeditions mean less income potentials. Even so, the decreased water flow in the stream in St. Mary’s, St. John’s might be connected to the negating effects of the global climate change phenomena. Even more, because of the lack of water, trees in the surrounding areas will not be nourished. Thus, the lush vegetation will eventually wither and die. The red, yellow, and green brick wall that is part of a bridge represents Grenada’s national colors and is a reflection of some, if not all, Grenadians’ sense of patriotism or nationalism. Also, the bridge itself represents a fixed boundary mark between the low-running stream and the curved road. So too, the curved road symbolizes Grenada’s relaxed stance towards the issues of water shortages as well as it conveys the island’s search for hope to fix the situation. What needs to happen to lessen the lack of water in Grenada and worldwide is a collaborative effort to remedy the problem through local, regional and international water synergy committees.

PHOTO Title: Contraction

Photograph Location: St. Mary’s, St. John’s

Photographer: Joan Charles

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