Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 04, 2018 (SKNIS): Approximately 100 people came together this past Saturday (September 01) to clean up four bays in Sandy Point making them more enjoyable for residents to use, while enhancing the natural environment.
The activity was organized by the Department of Youth Empowerment, who tasked members of its Volunteer Corps, and mobilised community residents and workers from the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) to accomplish the task. Officials from Parks and Beaches, the Ministry of Health, the Solid Waste Management Corporation (SWMC), and the Red Cross also contributed to the effort.
Pierre Liburd, Acting Director of the Department of Youth Empowerment, thanked the large number of persons who answered the call to help enhance the areas at Pump Bay, Alley Bay, Cleverly Hill Bay and School Bay. They were littered with plastic wares, bottles, household waste, discarded furniture and appliances and other items.
“Largely we did a good bit of clean up,” Mr. Liburd said, noting that there were some smaller areas that were not accessible for a number of reasons. In all, the group filled more than 100 bags of garbage covering the four bays.
“It is disappointing, upsetting and frustrating that [some] people [are] so negligent and have so little value for the natural beauty, the natural environment and cleanliness of the place and just see it as a place to dump their trash,” Acting Director Liburd stated, noting that mosquitoes, cockroaches, flies and rodents are typically found in filthy areas.
He warned that the rodents and insects grow and thrive in such conditions and can introduce illnesses into nearby communities.
“On top of all of that also it is poisoning the fish, poisoning the reef and so on. Sandy Point is a fishing community and we are poisoning ourselves,” Mr. Liburd said, highlighting that the fishes that eat the garbage are often caught by local fishermen, sold to community residents, who then eat them.
The government official implored citizens and residents across St. Kitts and Nevis to dispose of garbage using the proper methods and to ensure that all surroundings are kept clean “I think we can do better and we need to start doing better,” he said.
The Department of Youth Empowerment has increased emphasis in environmental protection in recent times. Earlier this year, the department staged its 35th Annual Summer Residential Camp under the theme “Preserving Our Land of Beauty.” A number of activities encouraged actions towards this end.