The Solid Waste Management Corporation’s (SWMC) National Cleanup campaign went into high gear this past weekend as the cleanup activities spanned from Cayon to Conaree, Kittstodarts to Taylors, Shadwell and St. Peters. Despite the rain Saturday evening, Minister with responsibility for the SWMC Hon. Eugene Hamilton and members of the SWMC National Cleanup team, visited several communities, spoke to residents and handed out flyers about the cleanup campaign.
The first stop was in lower Monkey Hill at Hyacinths’s Shop. The proprietor had good words of commendation for the SWMC and the minister for the cleanup efforts. “I think it’s a good thing for the community. The people appreciate it. I was glad when I saw the bin there because I had an old refrigerator and I threw the fridge in the bin. Since then, people from the community have been asking who placed that bin there and I said the government placed it there for everybody. So thanks again,” Hyacinth said to the minister.
Minister Hamilton had a chance to expound on the objective of the campaign. “Too many people throw their old garbage, old beds, old refrigerators, ol d washing machines in open spaces. The danger is when you throw those things there, they collect water. Where water is stagnant, mosquitos thrive; when mosquitoes thrive, you have vector borne diseases that can affect people. You can get Chikungunya, you can get Zika, any kind of vector borne disease. So we try to encourage people to get rid of these debris from the area,” the minister said.
The next stop was Needsmust where two residents in the area thanked the minister for the initiative. A resident by the name of Angela thanked the minister and the SWMC for the cleanup initiative. “I would like to thank the Minister Mr. Hamilton for this exercise because we the people of Needsmust, even though the community is small, we’re are happy to have the area cleaned,” Angela said. Debbie, another resident said: “We really needed a cleanup,” while pointing to the current condition of bulky waste strewn across the community prior to the start of the cleanup exercise.
Minister Hamilton and team from the SWMC then made their way to Cayon where there was a concentration of cleanup activity earlier that day. One resident called for the SWMC to continue to the cleanup efforts. “I like the cleanup and I want you all to continue to cleanup. Don’t just cleanup for a while,” she said. Another resident known as Kemp and his uncle were very instrumental in the cleanup activities in Cayon last weekend. They joined several other residents to help their neighbours remove old appliances and other bulky waste from their yards to be disposed of in the bins. “We came together and got some guys together and helped cleaned everyone’s yard. We started at Hermitage Road and came to (the next) road,” he explained. He also highly commended litter warden Sandra Caines and Collections Officer Tyasha Henry for their work in the community prior to the start and during the cleanup campaign over the weekend. “These two ladies, I appreciate them. They came on Friday and talked to us and we didn’t really believe them. But when we saw them show up (Saturday) morning, we said ‘action; that’s what we like,” he added.
The National Cleanup Campaign is an initiative by the St. Kitts Solid Waste Management Corporation slated to last for eight weeks. It involves the placing of bins in certain sections of communities across St. Kitts each weekend, so residents can dispose of their bulky waste not normally picked up by the garbage trucks during their weekly runs. These items included old appliances, metals, galvanize zincs and old tree branch trimmings among other items. The cleanup campaign continue this weekend into communities spanning Challengers to Half Way Tree and Frigate Bay to Independence Square.