The Clean and Green Campaign continued on Wednesday as workers from the beautification programme set their sights on Coverley Development, Christ Church, to transform a large vacant plot, once a landfill, into a new recreational field for residents.
Area MP Wilfred Abrahams, who joined Minister of the Environment and National Beautification Adrian Forde for the start of the exercise, recounted that residents had voiced their concerns to him about the area for years.
Abrahams said: “Right where we are now is the site of an old illegal landfill, so there is pretty much nothing else that can be done with this, other than what we are doing now or leaving it to run to bush. I am pleased to say, when my friend Adrian [Forde] said to me, ‘Wilfred we are going to do an area by you…’ When Adrian explained his concept, the area that came most readily to mind was right here. It is one of the ugliest sights, in potentially one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods in Christ Church East.”
Apart from being an eyesore, the bushy area was also a security concern for residents who have been fearful of individuals using the land to commit nefarious activities.
Abrahams voiced his appreciation for having residents of Coverley and surrounding communities take part in the transformation exercise, as the 360-member Christ Church East team, who are part of the National Clean and Green Campaign, will work on the project alongside the National Conservation Commission and the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA).
He added: “These are all young men and ladies from within our own constituency, so we are not just clearing and beautifying a space for somebody else, we are doing it for ourselves. So this is from us to us, and I want to congratulate you all in advance for the work you are going to do here, but I also want to acknowledge the sterling effort that all of you have made in transforming Barbados because Barbados looks different.”
When completed, the finished project will feature space for recreation and a track for residents’ cardio exercises, he declared.
Shawn Babb, the president of the Coverley Neighbourhood Watch, said he was grateful that the project had begun. He said that residents had long voiced their concerns about the area and an adjacent spot, so they too were glad to see work finally being started.
Babb said: “We did a survey of what the residents wanted, and the residents asked also for the other area to be cleaned, and it’s so amazing and so special that I stand here today and realize that that other area will also be part of the project. These two areas did pose a security issue to the residents, so we are very appreciative that our neighbourhood will be safe.
“It also goes beyond safety, it becomes a recreational area. An area where we can meet.”
Forde praised the residents for their determination to see a green space being added, to the area, and insisted that with COVD-19 still being on the minds of Barbadians as well as other stressful situations over the last year, recreational spaces are of great importance.
“There is a need to create psychosocial green spaces that people can balance their [psyche],” said the environment minister. “Simply put, we are creating an area where persons will have an outlet to release that stress.” (SB)