Transparency

by Oonah V. Joslin


“‘World Health Organization Warns Governments: Water Must Clean Up Its Act.’ Looks like the proverbial shit has hit the fan, Ronalds.”

“Well, we’ll be needing a new fan then. I’ll list it under expenses, shall I?”

“Funny!”

“You clean up your own stink, Jerrad. Everybody thinks I’m Mr. Squeaky. Want some water?”

“Bottled, please. Wait. Anything stronger?”

“Don’t see what you’re getting het-up about. Who’s WHO anyhoo? How many tanks they got? Whiskey do?”

“That’s no joke! The natives rioted, you know. Attacked one of our chaps with a machete. Non-consultation, they said.”

“What d’you expect from savages?”

“My thought exactly! They’re being offered relocation and this hydroelectric scheme will provide power for new industries for at least part of every year for decades to come. Then the bio-fuel scheme will kick in once the forest’s been cleared. Gardner’s in on that one. You know Gardner, don’t you? Good chap. Very hush.”

“Lips sealed. I’m just the dam contractor! Tell me, this late start won’t affect our deadline deal... We agreed to eighteen months from the off, with a ten percent bonus for finishing ahead, right? We cut some corners, collect our bonus and you spend less.”

“Absolutely! As per. This rag seems to have interviewed all the wrong people: environmentalists moaning on about the ecosystem’s rare flora and fauna. I mean, we’re talking about bugs here.”

‘If anything, we’re helping stamp out disease.”

“Precisely! And irrigation for poorer farms... ridiculous! The farms will be meters under. What more irrigation can you ask for than that, eh?”

“I like the way your mind works. Biozone Futures owns all the viable agricultural land there, don’t they? Greener & Co., is it?”

“Yes, and you don’t hear them complaining. They’re more than happy to pay top dollar for the pipeline to support bio-fuel development. Do you know, there are two billion people in the world without proper sanitation and these guys are whining on about river pollution, non-regulation of water supplies and fish stocks.”

“They will pay comparatively more for their water than in say, London or Paris.”

“But they’ll be getting a whole new infrastructure and centuries of Western expertise placed at their disposal. Where’s the gratitude? Don’t they want to be civilized?”

“Maybe they’d rather use latrines for the rest of their lives.”

“By the way, did you cost-in a filtration system for a potable water supply?”

“It wasn’t in the original plan, but I’ll get onto it. Fret not, All’s Wells are the right stuff. Rivers runs it — probably cost it down for a bonus — minus the bio-filter. You’ll hardly want an expensive bio-filter I guess. Those people must be used to their local flora and fauna, since they seem so fond of preserving it.”

“So fond of preserving it... I like that. Put it on the back burner a while. Wait till we’re asked. We’ll drag these tribes into the 21st century whether they like it or not.”

“Right. And prices could triple in the interim! A company has to make some profit after all.”

“Listen to this bit, Ronalds, ‘There must be transparency in water above all, otherwise we’re all going down the pan.’ These journalists are so full of bull! Well, here’s to water...”


Copyright © 2009 by Oonah V. Joslin

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