Wake Up Call For Governments Across The World (Part 2)
Taking a cue from what we discussed in Part I, we move on to other challenges that the present-day governments need to foresee. Housing, advance studies, healthcare, food & water, sanitation & garbage disposal pose an urgent challenge. Environment protection, public safety, and security, policing/law & order, border protection, immigration and growing refugee settlement challenges come a close second.
All across the world, we see a growing divide between the rich and the poor. Not only that, the added influx of population towards urban cities in search of opportunities continues to pose the biggest ever challenge to city administrations like never before.
With limited space and growing population density, it is but natural for planners and builders to look skywards. Resulting high-rise structures are intruding upon green space, trees, foliage and fresh clean air.
An urgent need to meet the demand for both living and commercial spaces is forcing the cities to change land use guidelines. The net result is the loss of agricultural land and resulting lack of food grains and fresh produce. The double whammy of congestion leading to added pollution and reduction in agriculture brings in its fold catastrophic consequences.
An urgent need for pollution-free public transport calls for major investment at a war-footing. At the same time, innovative solutions are also urgently required in sanitation and garbage disposal efforts. Adopting the Smart City initiatives looks good on paper but it needs a major shift in both planning and execution. Simply adding Free Wi-Fi at every corner is not even the beginning of such a lofty project. It will cause a lot of unexpected disruption for both the users and the residents alike. However, allocation of sufficient funds, with a systematic approach and time-bound improvements pose a huge challenge.
With all the advances on the cards related to ‘Internet of Things,’ experts continue to highlight various sectors undergoing a paradigm shift. In the field of healthcare, they believe life expectancy to see a quantum jump over the next 20 to 25 years. As aging population sees the benefits of custom-designed medication, tele-medicine, remote surgeries and other sensor-driven innovations, their care will call for larger allocation of funds.
While we shall all be happy to see our seniors live longer, more advanced and better-equipped care facilities, hospitals and qualified care-takers will need to be provided by the agencies responsible for this department. Again, bigger injection of funds, to the tunes of billions of dollars, is urgently called for.
Although online education is gaining ground, responsibility for maintaining highest possible standard of education rests with the government. The mushrooming growth in opportunists making a quick buck with hundreds of courses each floated on various websites for chump change, calls for an urgent check. Are we ready to do that? Urgent attention is required on this front so nobody is taken for a ride by sham courses and worthless programs.
Affordable fresh food and clean drinking water for growing influx in the cities demands large amounts of additional funds. It is not too late to learn from the catastrophic levels of river pollution across Asia and Africa where such initiatives fail to invite priority status in any government’s budget. How can you expect good health for the citizens if the source of drinking water is turned into a dirty pond full of sludge, plastic waste, garbage and dead animals?
So many cities across the world have already banned the use of polythene shopping bags due to their lack of easy composting. It is not just the local recycling facilities but the oceans are suffering terribly from this menace of thousands of tons of plastic dumping all across the world. Naturally, it has a huge negative impact on marine life.
There is an urgent need for a concerted effort on the part of all countries to take severe measures to curb this menace without further delay. There needs to be sufficient allocation of funds for dredging, cleaning and safe incineration operations for the retrieved plastic. Do we have the means and the intention to take up such projects before it gets too late?
We have been hearing about the loss of the ozone layer for over half a century. Some steps have been taken to address the situation, no doubt. A lot more needs to be done. Use of sensors on all street lights can reduce nitrogen gas emission and also save wildlife in an appreciable manner. All the high-intensity Sodium Vapor Lamps create a major impact on the life of birds and insects, forcing them to change their own habits and adjust to our terms. Is it not cruelty to animals?
Where are the groups fighting for prevention of this scourge? There is a lot more our governments can and should do but it is almost impossible to cover everything in a single article like this one.
Public safety, especially in the face of growing terrorism, is another major responsibility that falls upon the shoulders of our leaders at various levels of government. However, it calls for more liberal allocation of funds that are already too scarce, if we listen to the ones holding the purse strings.
No matter how you cut it, there is an urgent need for a lean government that throws its weight behind public welfare rather than its own governance in the lap of luxury. The leaders need to empathize with the common man, use the same services available to their constituents and get rid of extravagant travel, parties and endless meetings where expensive wine flows like water.
Accountability is the word we should see engraved on the mentality of leadership incumbents so they know what it means to be a public servant in the true spirit of the word.
Can we hope to see it happen? Not until we all make a concerted effort and force the change where it is most needed.
The BIG question still remains the same: Are we ready to face the challenge?
It is about time the administrative machinery at every level sharpens its pencils and redraws its long-term projections. We need to be aware of the steps various governments intend to take towards replenishment of oncoming loss in revenue. If the answer continues to be vague, we MUST wake up, join hands, and do something about it before it is too late!
We if do not change our outlook, our habits and our lifestyle to accommodate the change coming to hit us at almost supersonic speed, we must prepare to face the consequences with devastating impact. Another alternative is to make the government answerable or change it altogether for the one that listens, acts and protects!