During the catastrophic fire in Maui, where entire towns were destroyed and thousands lost their lives, one official chose to prioritize “conversations about equity” over providing much-needed water to fight the blaze. M. Kaleo Manuel, Deputy Director of Hawaii’s Commission on Water Resource Management, delayed approving the request to divert stream water to fill reservoirs for firefighting purposes for a staggering five hours. By the time approval was finally given, it was too late to redirect the water due to the rapidly spreading fire. It has since come to light that Manuel, an Obama Foundation Leader for the Asia Pacific Region, is not only a climate change activist but also a fanatical advocate of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). According to Manuel, “water requires true conversations about equity” before it can be shared.
This infuriating revelation was made public in a letter from Glenn Tremble with the West Maui Land Company, who detailed the timeline of events surrounding the request for water diversion. Despite reports of fallen power lines, strong winds, and low reservoir levels, Manuel’s commission asked the company to first consult with the Maui Fire Department before granting approval. By the time communication was established and approval was given, it was too late to make a difference.
Of course, it’s no surprise that a climate change activist with a penchant for equity and inclusion would prioritize bureaucracy over saving lives. Manuel’s delay in approving the water diversion highlights a dangerous mindset that places ideology above practicality. It’s clear that his views on equity and water management were misplaced in this emergency situation, and it’s disheartening to see such incompetence from a so-called leader.
Here's a clip of how M. Kaleo Manuel, the Obama leader who delayed water for five crucial hours.
Manuel claims "water requires true conversations about equity".
(And thank you to Vivek for sharing this story and fighting for the truth!)pic.twitter.com/4AzVZNwkHk
— Jeremy Kauffman 🦔 (@jeremykauffman) August 17, 2023
However, Manuel is not the only one to blame for this tragedy. As Bonchie rightly points out, the emergency management head and the police chief are equally responsible for their incompetence. It seems that all levels of leadership in Maui failed to act swiftly and effectively during this devastating inferno.
It’s high time we prioritize competent leadership and practical problem-solving over ideological agendas. Lives are at stake, and it’s clear that the wellbeing of the community should always come first.