The almost daily mounting challenges facing ordinary Barbadians and the Government are stark.
The microscopic enemy COVID-19 has delivered a punch to every facet of our lives, and it’s still all unravelling. We are all focused on staying safe, containing the spread of the virus, while making sense of this new world and exploring what a post-COVID-19 Barbados will look like.
So it’s almost ridiculous, and exasperating for the country to have to address the vexing issues of illegal dumping.
Why are we back here?
At a time when health and cleanliness are paramount — We are sterilising, sanitizing and wearing masks and can’t even touch – some among us are bent on carrying on with nasty practices that could lead to an outbreak of another kind.
Last Friday, it was galling to see the reckless disposal of two truckloads of old galvanised sheets, trees, old cans, wire, nails, windows and bags of garbage, dumped in plain sight on President Kennedy Drive
According to the Minister of Environment and National Beautification, the “criminal act” came less than three days after Sanitation Service Authority workers cleaned the area.
Said the minister: “I am of the opinion that this cannot be a normal human being that [brought] this here, it is almost impossible that you can come into a densely populated urban Barbados, throw all of this waste at the back of somebody’s premises as well as on the front road in this community and have no regard for how offensive it is, no regard for how it much damages the property.”
Shouldn’t we be past this by now?
A dirty environment benefits no one. How can we continue to have a poor attitude towards waste disposal? The uncontrolled dumping along sidewalks, in culverts, and gully courses are just unacceptable especially in a society where we have been recently making a lot of noise about new garbage trucks and whether the SSA is picking up our garbage on time and frequently
This problem is replicated far too much across our country.
Only today, SSA public relations officer Carl “Alff” Padmore reported another gross pile-up along Bank Hall, St Michael and the dumpers were bold enough to throw their garbage under the sign which warned: “Under the Health Services Amendment Act (1975) you may be fined on conviction $ 100 to $5000 for dumping here. Why not call the SSA at 535-500 and have them take it away?”
Clearly, some of us are either ignorant or dismissive of the consequences of our bad habits or we feel that we can continue to get away with illegal dumping.
It is true that hardly anyone is made an example before the law courts for this egregious act.
We heard Minister Prescod loud and clear when he declared intentions to strengthen legislation addressing illegal dumping. We also welcome his strong hints that installing cameras at dumping hotspots could be coming, but we have heard it all before.
We hope these ideas are not eventually dumped. Time for action.
As Barbadians, we need to be proud of our beautiful island and realize it is our civic duty to clean up our spaces and dispose of our waste properly.
And the reality is that most things can be recycled, so there is really no excuse for abusing the environment
And by the way, if you see someone illegally dumping, do the right thing and report them. They deserve this. We deserve better.