Members of the Future Centre Trust are calling on Barbadians to make a greater effort to take care of the environment.
Leading a team of approximately 40 people at the Pierhead, Bridgetown, for International Coastal Clean-up Day, director of the trust, Kammie Holder called on residents to clean up the heritage site of Bridgetown.
Pierhead was just one of the 25 locations islandwide to be cleaned by the Trust in honour of the annual event.
Describing the island’s capital as “filthy”, Holder said that the responsibility rested not only on the Government of Barbados but also its people.
“We must take responsibility for what is happening in Bridgetown and it is not the sole responsibility of any government to keep the town clean,” Holder said.
“I want persons to understand that when you encourage littering you are providing homes for vermin. We do not want a cholera outbreak in this country, very often we seek to blame the Government for our indiscriminate dumping and the tipping fee should never be used as an excuse, we must take responsibility for such bad habits”.
Holder stressed that cleaning the environment was not only to maintain the country’s tourism product but also for the welfare of citizens.
He urged authorities to bring the full weight of the law on those persons caught guilty of littering or illegal dumping.
“Barbados as a tourist destination cannot allow an outbreak of cholera and one of the things reported internationally is that Barbados is becoming dirty and it seems there is a subset of citizens vying for some place on some chart where Barbados will be seen as one of the dirtiest places to live,” Holder said.
Therefore, we cannot as a country allow a few littering miscreants to destroy the good name of this country. I am saying that the time is right where persons must be held accountable for littering,” he added.
Programme Manager, Ann Harding reiterated Holder’s point that upkeep of Barbados is not for tourists only but for the sake of the thousands of Barbadians living within its 166 square miles.
“Barbadians need to respect themselves a bit more and realise that their environment is more valuable to them than it is to visitors because they live here,” Harding said.
Over at Carlisle Bay, the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) with a team of 85 persons collected 826.98 pounds of garbage from the beaches and 111.3 pounds from underwater.
Warning locals of the dangers of leaving trash on the shores, the international coordinator for the International Coast Cleanup Day, Sade Dean said, “the only thing to be left at the beach is a footprint, that is all we want from Barbadians”.