CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS – Over 200 volunteers among them young adults and children participated in the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society(NHCS)’s 24th Annual Nevis Coastal Clean up held on Saturday, September 24th.
Many volunteers and individuals began their clean up efforts as early as 6.00 a.m. and by 12.00 noon, the volunteers were treated to a delicious lunch at a picnic held at the Coconut Grove Restaurant. Executive Director NHCS, Nicole Liburd, said she was encouraged by the large number of young adults and children who participated, “We saw an increase in youth community and church groups.” Volunteers collected trash at over 17 land and coastal sites, while divers from the Four Seasons Resort Watersports department undertook cleaning of the sea in front of the resort.
The Executive Director thanked the various sponsors for supporting the event. She noted that Nevis Solid Waste Management Authority made extra trips to ensure that all the trash collected was removed. We wish to thank the Four Seasons Resort, Nevis, ValuMart, St. Kitts Bottling Company and Carib Breweries St. Kitts and Nevis Ltd.
She also thanked NHCS staff for their hard work not just on the event day but in preparations leading up to the event. She further commended NHCS members and friends for donating of their time, resources, cash and other in kind donations all of which contributed to the success of the event. Ms. Liburd also thank the various media bodies in the Federation thanking them for spreading the word. Next year we be celebrating our 25th anniversary and we are excited about the potential for the event.
Devon Liburd, the President, NHCS who joined other NHCS members at Coconut Walk described the Coastal Clean Up as a rewarding exercise. “At Coconut Walk, we collected close to 20 bags of garbage. It was a rewarding experience to go out and clean up. It also shows how irresponsible we are as a people, not Nevisians only but globally, how we arbitrarily dispose of our garbage. Once someone else’s garbage ends up on the steps of your house all of us are impacted adversely. If we dispose our garbage irresponsibly, our friends in St. Martin, St. Kitts and St. Baths will be forced to clean up after us. In reverse, folks in Dominica or Antigua impact us depending on how they dispose their garbage. Likewise those persons who ply their trade in the sea also need to be more responsible.”
The President said it was a privilege for NHCS to coordinate this Clean Up exercise for 24 years. “The effort was great. It is privilege for us as the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society to coordinate this event for 24 years. I remember long ago, as a member of St. George’s AYP when participating in the Coastal Clean Up campaign, we would normally go to Indian Castle. This is not something new to me. As a church group, we participated every year. “
Mr Liburd thanked the volunteers and said he was impressed by the turn out of young adults. “We thank all who participated. I am pleased to see the number of young adults and children who participated. I hope the effort this morning, would have left an indelible mark as to why we did what we did. All in all I hope all of us in Nevis would have made an impact globally. “
Monique Washington a journalist with the St. Kitts and Nevis Observer who coordinated a five-member group, US, said her group’s location was Herbert’s Beach. She congratulated NHCS for donating a large capacity bin to the Newcastle fisherfolk and said donations of such bins can deter people from littering the beaches.
General Manager, of the Nevis Solid Waste Management Authority, Andrew Hendrickson, said NHCS Coastal Clean Up was very timely. “It is a wonderful event and it continues to grow from strength to strength. Our job is to collect garbage which is already prepared by households. Coastal Clean Up gives us an opportunity to interact with Nevis Historical Conservation Society to coordinate members of the public to clean up the coastal areas and bring the trash to a place where our trucks can collect the garbage. It complements our efforts to keep Nevis clean,” Hendrickson noted.
Rudy Browne, Operations Manager, at the Nevis Solid Waste Management Authority also shared his thoughts that the volunteer effort complimented the authority’s task of collecting garbage. “The overall goal of the authority is to collect garbage and place it in one central place. On a day like this when volunteers clean up the beaches, it is really a plus for us. I hope the members of the public will appreciate this volunteer effort and stop littering.”
Participating in the cleanup was the reigning Culturama Mr Talented Youth 2016, Armadi Hendrickson who is also a member of The Nevis Boys Choir. Mr. Hendrickson said youth need to get more active in cleaning up. “Our community needs to be kept clean. We found a cooler, a bunch of bottles and a dead bird.” His cousin, Robelto Byron also shared his thoughts, he said Nevis has to be kept clean. “C’mon, we are in Nevis. Play your part. Play your role.” Bryon said he does not litter. He keeps trash in his pockets. He was mentored by his mother not to litter.
Spearheading the participation of the Nevis Boys Chior was Alphonso Henry, 2014 Mr Kool and employee at the Nevis Island Administration’s Youth and Sports Department. Henry said, “The boys found it exciting as they were given an opportunity to clean the beach. It is water and they enjoyed going in the water”. He commended the boys for the efforts they put in. This initiative is great. It helps us to keep the coastal areas clean. Nevis is known for its beaches. They should be well kept.”
Ralph Liburd Powell a member of the St. George’s Community Disaster Preparedness Response Team, (CERTS) said debris if not collected can lead to disasters. He said the most common items collected by his group were plastic cups and plastic bottles.
A teacher, Tashroan Tyson with the Hanley’s Road Women with a Mission group and also a newscaster for popular radio station, VON Radio said: “I do not like to see the island on a whole with garbage. When children and young adults are involved, it gives them the opportunity to work as a group. When they go home, they can tell the parents what they did. This can motivate the parents to come on board next year.”
Martha Isbister coordinator of the Latitude Seventeen clean up group indicated that they have been involved in the annual NHCS Nevis Coastal Clean Up for seventeen (17) years. “We normally have about seven to eight people, this year was great. We had seventeen persons. We collected trash at Windward Beach, Indian Castle. We were impressed by how clean it looked this year. There was no sea weed so the beach itself was very clean. We collected about 50 bags, lots of plastic, lots of water bottles, plastic cups, shoe soles and fishermen netting.
Co-founder, of the Shekinah Dance Theater, Mrs Tamecia Lestrade, said participating in the Coastal Clean Up instils a life skill in young people. “The girls came out in good spirit. We were able to collect all the garbage from the Bath Stream. It was a great exercise. It helps instil discipline in the youth. It teaches them volunteerism.”
Preliminary data collected from approx. 11 miles of the islands coastline suggest in excess of 4000lbs of trash was collected surpassing the 2015 collection totals. Areas where the largest amounts of trash were recorded include Samuel Hunkins Drive, Herbert’s Beach, the Windwardside beaches and Coconut Walk. In some areas of the Windward beaches the trash included many items washed ashore from neighbouring islands. Plastic bottles, plastic bottle caps, foam and paper take away containers, plastic bags, plastic forks, plates and cups are among the majority of items collected.
The NHCS admonishes all residents and visitors to practise proper trash disposal and stop littering, we can each do our part to keep our Island clean and beautiful.