Charlestown-Nevis-The annual beach cleanup campaign, is now scheduled for this coming Saturday, 14th of October.
In a recent interview, members of the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society (NHCS) board of directors, spoke to the media about the upcoming campaign.
Present were: Pauline Ngunjiri; and Lawyers Midge Morton and Marisha Robinson, of the Morton/Robinson law firm.
Ms. Ngunjiri noted that it is the mandate of the NHCS to mobilize communities; policy makers and governments, to ensure that the environments are protected.
According to her, the annual beach cleanup efforts are coordinated by Nature Conservancy, based in the USA and the NHCS signed on with the organization, some twenty-five years ago.
Voluntary participants are drawn from all sectors in Nevis-schools; community groups; government departments; private sector and international hotels. Many visitors also join in what she referred to as ‘a very exciting activity.’
She pointed out that other organizations around the world are lobbying governments towards changing policies banning the use of plastic bags and such materials as Styrofoam.
‘It is time we change our behaviour,’ she said. She is hoping that the efforts of the NHCS will impress our government to begin efforts towards banning the use of plastics, as has been done in her home country of Kenya.
She noted that this year, due to the passing of the recent hurricanes, the ocean belched up even more materials onto the beach and used the opportunity to beseech owners of backhoes and other heavy equipment, to assist with the cleanup.
Lawyer Marisha Robinson who is actually a board member of the NHCS indicated that the original date for the beach cleanup, was September 23rd but that was postponed due to the passage of the hurricanes.
She urged citizens and residents on the island to come out in their numbers to assist with the campaign.
The areas to be cleared include: Hamilton to Coconut Grove; Yachtsman’s Grill to Sea bridge; Gallows Bay; Pinney’s Beach 1 and 2; Paradise Beach 1 and 2; Gallows Bay 1 and 2; Pinney’s Lagoon; Nelson’s Spring; Bath Stream; Water front; VON radio area; Indian castle; White Bay; Lovers’ Beach and Newcastle Bay.
She stated that one lead contact person has been assigned to each group and an individual is also assigned to each group with the clear purpose of collecting data.
Based on the world wide collections of last year, over one million food wrappers were collected, along with over half a million plastic straws.
She was happy to indicate that Guyana has already banned the use of Styrofoam and Antigua and Barbuda and the US Virgin Islands, are in the process of following suit.
Lawyer Midge Morton who is a former board member and current member of the NHCS, used the opportunity to compliment institutions such as Ram’s; Horsfords Valu Mart; Four Seasons Resort and Old House café, who have put certain measures in place to reduce the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam.
She asked the customers to get on board with the program and to be supportive of such endeavours.
She stated that laws to ban the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam, within the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, are not yet in place but pointed to existing legislation that directs the general public away from littering and creating nuisances. Such legislation include but are not limited to the Litter abatement act; Solid waste bill and the nuisance abatement regulations.
She also stated that even if there are no designated Litter Abatement Wardens within the federation, there are certain individuals who are ex-officio Litter wardens, based on their job title. Such persons include Police officers; Public Health Inspectors and the general manager at the Nevis Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA). They can issue warnings and or tickets to persons who break the law.
In closing, the three ladies once again urged as many persons on the island as is possible to come out to assist with the clean up on Saturday.
Ms. Ngunjiri also noted that the annual after clean up picnic lunch, which is normally hosted at the Coconut Grove, will now be held at the Oualie Beach Hotel, as the Coconut Grove restaurant is presently undergoing repairs.
She also thanked the Four Seasons Resort; Ram’s supermarket; Valu Mart and Carib Breweries for their donation of food and drink.
Miss Morton urged the local parliamentarians to stay updated with such programs so that their policies can be guided towards ensuring the protection of the environment.