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The clean-up campaign which was coordinated by the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council saw close to 100 persons gather in the green space outside the Christian Life Assembly Christian Centre building and the STEP team led by Mr Jason McKoy, STEP Senior Field Officer, joined in the cleaning up of the Basseterre Valley Aquifer and the Fisheries Complex.
“I can’t believe that our very own are doing this sort of dumping that is going to cause havoc to St. Kitts especially on the aquifer from where we get our drinking water – it is like they want to poison us,” said Mr McKoy after his team that had helped in the collection of the garbage and putting in black collection bags were loading the bags on pickup trucks.
The other stakeholders taking part in the clean-up campaign were from the Solid Waste Management Corporation (SWMC), Department of Environment, Public Works Department, Parks and Beaches, and Volunteer Corps of the Department of Youth Empowerment.
“I coordinated our STEP people in the East Basseterre area from Keys to Bird Rock to be a part of this project, and I am so happy that they have come out and shown me their support, and basically I want to say to them thank you,” said Mr McKoy. “They have worked hard and we will continue this project just in case and we will clean the beach totally of all its weeds to make it nice and healthy for St. Kitts and Nevis.”
The next community clean-up exercise will be held on Saturday August 22 in the Fort Thomas area, and STEP Community Enhancement Workers in the West Basseterre area will take part in the exercise. Mr McKoy will be assisted by STEP field officers Mr Damien Weekes, and Mr Cleneiro McMahon.
Mr McKoy is a member of the committee, headed by the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council that came up with strategies on how to tackle problem dumping areas and he thanked STEP Director Mr Emile Greene for appointing him as the STEP representative on the committee.
“I think we have some dynamic people on that committee, and with brilliant ideas,” said Mr McKoy. “We have been planning the strategy for almost the past three weeks. Every Wednesday we meet at 9:30 am in the Tourism Department Board Room. Mrs Diannille Taylor-Williams is leading the way as the chairperson for coordinating the ‘Keeping Covid out by cleaning up’ campaign.”
According to McKoy, it is unfortunate that when some people are paid to take garbage to the landfill, they instead dump it indiscriminately around the island taking away its beauty. He praised SWMC Collections Manager Ms Inita Lake who showed the committee some 17 sites that people have turned into illegal dump sites which the committee members visited and he described them as horrible sites.
While pledging support from the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) in keeping the country clean, Mr McKoy suggested that more people who are good citizens should be made litter wardens and be given the authority to ticket persons found “dumping waste into other areas of our beautiful lands other than the landfill at Conaree.”