Increasingly, our waterways, air quality and food processing are showing up a runaway, out-of-control, unethical value system.
Toxic and other waste is often dumped into our drains and rivers.
Some factories emit pungent gases and toxic effluent.
Occasionally, we hear of food manufacturers operating in sites where rodents and roaches roam and where filthy rusting machinery may be stored.
Certain farms may use dangerous amounts of pesticides and steroids just to ensure that all their produce and livestock can be sold.
Even premises that have been raided, fined or shut down may soon reopen and fall back to their bad old ways again if they are not monitored.
Are the laws ineffective? In some places, conscience is dead and making money at any cost has become a widespread measure of success.
Who is to be blamed for this state of affairs?
Perhaps consumer awareness is missing in the country. Unless consumers and local residents protest vehemently and boycott unethical businesses, the people’s health and the wellbeing of the next generation could be endangered.
The media can play a pivotal role here. So too the relevant ministries.
Unless local communities unite against air, water and food polluters, we cannot hope to change this risky situation.
The relevant authorities tasked with safeguarding our air, water and food supply should be held accountable if evidence is shown of negligence.
Polluters should be penalised more sternly. They are the enemies of the state. Their licences should be withdrawn, their assets frozen and the owners imprisoned. All those involved, irrespective of who they are, should be exposed.
If the laws are not working, then Parliament needs to amend them quickly. After so many cases of such brazen flouting of the laws of the land, isn’t that reason enough to tighten the laws?
If our air, water and food supply cannot be better protected, then what nation-building are we talking about?