I've just come off the phone to my Mum down near the Thames, and the news is just getting worse and worse regarding the flooding. The council estate that I grew up in near Staines, is now mostly flooded. People have been evacuated in boats and there is chaos everywhere.
My Dad and brother have been trying to buy sandbags to protect our house, but they are tackling a problem not much noted in the press. If they leave them for any period of time, they just keep being nicked. My mum reports white vans cruising the worst affected areas, with homes being looted when left abandoned.
The worst flooding the area have ever experienced, almost certainly caused by global warming, is being dealt with by a government of climate change sceptics. The political intervention is too little to late.
And while politicians wade through the leafy parts of the South East/West - I've yet to see them in the council estates of the South, and mention how they intend to stop the poorest and most vulnerable communities from suffering from looting and having their water defences stolen.
First things first, help the most vulnerable - but that is almost impossible when the public sector has been almost decimated in the South. We have destroyed our own defence systems, from privatised utilities to policing.
These floods force us to realise that not only is our planet fragile and needs taking care of, but so to are our communities - made sick by the processes of our 'market led' economy.
Flooded social housing doesn't bear thinking about - so many housing associations don't handle 'ordinary' damp, let alone flood damage. And where will people be temporarily housed while their homes are made habitable again, given the existing shortage of housing stock?ReplyDelete