A plea to all Ba­jans

UK Barbados Nation - - NEWS - – BARRY V. GALE, QC.

OUR NA­TIONAL MOTTO is Pride And In­dus­try. Based on re­cent eco­nomic trends and so­cial be­hav­iour of our peo­ple, some have said of Bar­ba­dos and its peo­ple, that this motto should be rewrit­ten “Lit­tle pride and no in­dus­try”.

Sadly, that in­dict­ment is partly and un­de­ni­ably true. I draw at­ten­tion mainly to our garbage and lit­ter prob­lems (which are im­mense), and of­fer some sug­ges­tions to im­prove this epi­demic which sul­lies our na­tion and its per­cep­tion by the world at large, par­tic­u­larly to our vis­i­tors in the tourism sec­tor, which is un­doubt­edly the eco­nomic life­line of our econ­omy.

One only has to drive around any parish or visit al­most any beach to wit­ness that our peo­ple lit­ter and dump garbage in­dis­crim­i­nately. Added to this prob­lem are the derelict houses and cars, and bush vir­tu­ally ev­ery­where. The grass even grows in our roads! If we are hon­est, we as Bar­ba­di­ans should feel ashamed of our­selves.

This be­hav­iour by some of our peo­ple, which is wide­spread and per­va­sive, is an out­right be­trayal of our na­tional motto we claim to up­hold, as well as to our es­poused ideals and val­ues.

Our is­land looks run down and dirty. One only need visit an is­land like Ber­muda to re­alise just how bad our sit­u­a­tion is. Ber­muda, by con­trast, is well man­i­cured where you strug­gle even to find lit­ter on its streets. There is also lit­tle or no ev­i­dence of indis­crim­i­nate dump­ing or derelict houses or cars.

We must first ed­u­cate our peo­ple to have true pride in our “Lit­tle Rock” or “gem­stone”, and to re­frain from drop­ping any lit­ter or dump­ing garbage in­dis­crim­i­nately. We also need to en­cour­age them to keep their prop­er­ties well kept and tidy. Over­grown lots, derelict prop­er­ties, dumped old ap­pli­ances, tyres and aban­doned cars must be­come a thing of the past.

The key is to ed­u­cate our peo­ple. This must start in the pri­mary schools and con­tinue into the sec­ondary, as part of their cur­ricu­lum. Stu­dents from all schools ought to reg­u­larly take day trips to ob­serve the prob­lems and be given the op­por­tu­nity, in ap­pro­pri­ate ways, to as­sist in the clean-up. They should also be en­cour­aged to ed­u­cate their par­ents to do the right thing.

The ed­u­ca­tion should also be ex­tended to our en­tire na­tion on tele­vi­sion and so­cial me­dia. Pub­lic sig­nage should be erected to en­cour­age our peo­ple not to lit­ter and to un­der­stand that when they lit­ter or fail to up­keep their prop­er­ties, they are in­sult­ing their is­land and all of its peo­ple.

Garbage bins

Our peo­ple should be en­cour­aged to re­buke any­one they see lit­ter­ing and re­port them to the ap­pro­pri­ate au­thor­i­ties, and wher­ever pos­si­ble, to set the ex­am­ple by pick­ing it up them­selves and dis­pos­ing of it prop­erly.

How­ever to deal with this prob­lem we need to be ad­e­quately equipped by both the Gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor. If you visit most beaches or pub­lic venues, you will not find ad­e­quate trash bins. Some­times there are none at all! The same is true of vir­tu­ally all bus stops where lit­ter is of­ten found.

There should be mul­ti­ple garbage bins on all of our beaches and pub­lic venues, and one at ev­ery bus stop. It should also be manda­tory for all minibuses, ZRS and other pub­lic trans­port buses and ve­hi­cles to have a trash bin on board to try and al­le­vi­ate the all too present prob­lem of peo­ple throw­ing their lit­ter out the win­dows of these ve­hi­cles.

We also need to es­tab­lish a spe­cial unit in Gov­ern­ment to, among other things, po­lice over­grown and derelict prop­er­ties, indis­crim­i­nate lit­ter­ing and garbage dis­posal. This unit should be given ve­hi­cles and ad­e­quate per­son­nel to mon­i­tor our roads and coun­try­side with power to levy im­me­di­ate fines. Fines should be mean­ing­ful and im­posed rig­or­ously to make ex­am­ples of peo­ple.

If peo­ple leave their prop­er­ties derelict or aban­don them, then Gov­ern­ment should move swiftly to have them cleaned up at the own­ers’ ex­pense and if needs be, given the power to sell prop­er­ties to re­cover its costs.

Aban­doned and derelict houses should also be com­pul­so­rily ac­quired and sold by pub­lic auc­tion. This will as­sist in help­ing to solve the hous­ing short­age.

Gov­ern­ment and/or the pri­vate sec­tor should also es­tab­lish garbage col­lec­tion points in ev­ery parish where peo­ple can, for a nom­i­nal fee, dis­pose of their refuse, old ap­pli­ances, derelict cars and so on. These units should op­er­ate as busi­nesses to re­cy­cle and re­cover part or all of their costs.

The pris­on­ers who are not a dan­ger to so­ci­ety, should be made on a daily ba­sis to as­sist in the clean-up of our beaches and coun­try­side. They should be equipped to clean up and re­move all the bush as well as to deal with derelict prop­er­ties and cars.

The above are but a few of the so­lu­tions to our ex­ist­ing prob­lems. Let’s to­gether make Bar­ba­dos a place to be truly proud of again.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Barbados

© PressReader. All rights reserved.