GOVERNMENT is honouring its commitment to respond to environmental issues affecting the island.
According to Minister of Environment and National Beautification, Trevor Prescod, the launch of the Ministry’s National Clean-Up and Beautification Campaign yesterday at the Whim, St Peter, is being considered as “mission critical”, as the economy, society, and environment must be seen as key parts of a whole.
“This clean-up campaign is even more relevant at this time of the year. Remember last hurricane season, the damages that were inflicted on our brothers and sisters across the Caribbean region. It is a stark, vivid reminder of what could happen if we do not take precautionary measures.
“Modern man should not wait on these experiences to know that the experiences can be real. You must always have the foresight because you can think and you can make assumptions. If we delay actions, especially at this time of the year, we can be courting a major catastrophe,” Minister Prescod
The clean-up campaign, themed “Many Hands”, aims to decrease the amount of waste dumped across Barbados and the negative effects associated with such activities.
The programme speaks to the links between solid and liquid waste management, protection of the water courses, biodiversity management, storm water management and flooding, among others.
“The activities cover areas including drainage, water course clean-up, tree trimming, de-bushing, general vegetation maintenance and the removal of Sargassum [seaweed] from around our land. I believe this is the first time in our entire history that we have seen so much Sargassum around Barbados…
“These, however, are but the beginning of the overall programme. I will also include bulky waste clean-up, derelict vehicle removal, clean-up of
illegal dump sites; and this is one on which we now stand, anti-litter drives, vacant lot clean-up, and other forms of beautification.
“Obviously, we want to be able to boast in this effort about physical aesthetic transformation that Barbados must never look this way again. I want to thank all the parties who have offered their assistance in this exercise,” Minister Prescod said.
The Minister alluded to the fact that each of the activities will have components associated with an education and outreach aspect. He said the goal is to get Barbadians to understand that it is their national duty to play a part in creating a clean and healthy environment.
“We will not allow this to be exclusively a state programme. This is a programme that reaches out to the private sector, and this is also about people participation,” he said.
In addition to the launch at The Whim, there were also clean-up activities taking place yesterday – and which will continue today as well – including tree trimming at Brandons and Batts Rock beaches by the National Conservation Commission’s (NCC) staff, starting at 7 a.m.
The Ministry of Youth and Community Empowerment also assisted in carrying out debushing activities in the area of Popular Supermarket, Kendal Hill, Christ Church, from 7 a.m.