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‘Pollution Scourge’ A Concern For Saint Lucia Government

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The government of Saint Lucia is concerned about what Sustainable Development Minister Shawn Edward described in parliament on Tuesday as a ‘pollution scourge’, including marine and plastic litter.

Edward acknowledged that clean-up campaigns are necessary.

But he asked whether it would not be fantastic if the nation could transition towards compliance, behavioural change, and enhanced waste management while depending less on clean-ups.

“Do we have hope? Well, I have hope and we should have hope. I know that our people want to do better and can do better and this government, Mr. Speaker, is committed to the cause of curing the pollution scourge that confronts us today,” the Dennery North MP declared.

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“I cringed in my own community Mr. Speaker when I saw the plastic accumulation following the heavy rains,” Edward recalled.

In addition, the Minister observed that, too often, Saint Lucians assert that in their inappropriate waste disposal, they are creating jobs for the poor and disadvantaged.

However, Edward said such inappropriate behaviour creates homelessness and loss of livelihood when the trash clogs the drains, flooding homes, and shops.

“The situation we are contributing to is one of poverty, revenue loss from visitors who are disgusted with the imprudent behaviour and opt for cleaner touristic destination,” the Minister told parliament.

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  1. Hon Minister of Education. The student Nurses in the Department of Health at SALCC is also affected with pollution from the administration in that department. The environment is very toxic. Kindly assist us. Thank you .

  2. Look at the city on Jeremie street in the getters near the bars. It is plainly deliberate dumping of plastic cups, bottles, banana peel cigarette buds, bottle caps– you name it. You mean to tell me in the center of Castries a busy side walk and street where you are likely to see someone you know like a police officer passing by, a city police or an official nothing is being done about this. It is like a waste of time for the CCC cleaners. After they clean, garbage continue to pile up when I see that a clean up is needed around Dereck Walcott Square to remove the grass that is growing on the sidewalk. It is time the authorities remove all liquor sales on sidewalks and have the bars put doors to their businesses and stop with open bars where people just stand on the city sidewalks with a glass or bottle in hand drinking. It is time for enforcement and penalties.

  3. I would wholeheartedly join any clean up event for our country. I found myself bringing garbage bags where I fish to pick up the plastic on the beaches. I believe we should have more intense laws and fines for this behavior, it’s our country we should take pride in keeping it clean.
    You have my full support on that

  4. As a regular visitor to St Lucia from the UK I must say that whilst the island is very beautiful, it is being ruined by the incredible amount of litter. On my last visit I saw hundreds of pieces and several large dumps of rubbish in one small stretch of road. At the Marine reserve the beach was ringed with plastic bottles, coke cans and fast food containers. There is no recycling that I can see and on many occasions I have witnessed locals throwing litter out of car windows or just hurling it onto the roadside. It is ruining the island. It will eventually affect tourism too.

  5. When Stephenson King was PM he proposed a litter tax and the revenue from it ringfenced to help employ Lucians to clear up the mess. Of course yet another unfulfilled government proposal. A simple small tax on every can, bottle and plastic item would provide jobs for many.

  6. Again … government ministers and other officials complain about St Lucians wanton behaviour against certain ills -with no tangible solutions or strategies!! These ills will NOT go away by just, and only, talking about it. Put solutions and strategies in place, or better yet – ENFORCE THEM. Also “shaming” the perpetrators just might work – call them out!

    Various government administrations cabinets are always writing up “acts” and “policies” to be put in place for the betterment of the populace/country – but unfortunately, they do not enforce those acts and policies by ensuring fines and other deterrents are administered. NO MAINTENANCE!!

  7. @Steve … it is a crying shame!! I keep a garbage bag in my vehicle, in every room of my house, and make sure I use a refuse bin, established BY THE NEIGHBOURHOOD, just for our use. No-one in authority (do they exist?) “policies” community garbage disposal.

    Right in Mr Hilaire’s (min for tourism!?!) nose hole is the fishermen’s slum/shanty town at the Millennial Hwy/La Toc Road roundabout … an EYESORE!! What does that say about St Lucia?

    Many years ago, Paris, France, was considered “the dirtiest city in Europe”!
    The President, Prime Minister and Mayors from other French cities convened to tackle the problem. Their strategy was to treat garbage pollution on a 24 hour basis, and to educate their populace on proper garbage disposal, complete with HEFTY fines with imprisonment.

    When I was there in 2000 – there were garbage collectors for certain environs on foot, on bicycles, tricycles, 3-wheel carts, single cab vans, panel vans, garbage trucks of all kinds and sizes … these people were employed to work 24/7 in various French cities and towns. The French government put in a massive budget to combat their environment and image. To this day, Paris, and some other cities have the reputation of being the cleanest in Europe.

    If only we could do the same – granted, “the powers that be” have already instilled in us that such a feat would “cost millions”! And that France is a “First World Nation” – SLU does not belong in that category – and all the negative and woeful excuses of WHY SLU is unable to get out of the gutter (pun very intended). Bayteez!

  9. Paris and subsequently France is a horrible current example. A quick Google search of “Paris Litter” will refute what you just wrote. As far as cleanliness goes Japan would be one of the major countries to look up to. But the catch is, is that they have a cultural appreciation and pride for country like no other. So fines and parenting the citizenry isn’t necessary for them maintain incredible standard compared to most other nations. St. Lucians deep down need to go through a similar cultural change. It would be a gargantuan task but would certainly hold fast for longer than simply using the punishment model.

    So TL;DR Japan is the model to research when looking for ways to keep a country clean.

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