Jus’ Sail and their cohort of Youth Skills Development Program (YSD) students are collaborating with IGY Rodney Bay Marina, The SLHTA and the recycling company Greening the Caribbean to celebrate World Earth Day with a litter clean up activity in the Rodney Bay Lagoon on the morning of Friday 22nd April.
The idea for this event came during the recent heavy rain on Thursday 14th April, whilst the YSD crew were undertaking a training session aboard Jus’ Sail’s vessel Good Expectation, when a large quantity of litter was washed into the lagoon through the streams and ravines that flow into it. The hundreds of plastic bottles, styrofoam containers, nylon bags, boxes and other discarded debris that floated into the lagoon struck an ugly chord with the crew and highlighted how the island has a serious litter problem.
The Earth Day activity will include litter collection around various points in the lagoon, the waste will then be brought back to the recycling facility in the marina for sorting into piles of recyclable material and general waste. Greening the Caribbean’s Wayne Neale will be on hand to explain the separation and recycling process and the practical aspects of developing a sustainable solid waste management strategy for the island; something which is vital to help reduce the impacts of litter on our environment, health, economy and community. It is hoped the activity will help inform and educate the students who will in turn choose to change behaviours and encourage others to do the same.
The effort is also timely as part of the national campaign to minimise the spread of Zika virus as discarded food and drink containers collect water and are a major breeding ground for the Aedes aegypti mosquito responsible for spreading the virus as well as Dengue and Chikungunya.
In addition, the great mass of carelessly discarded plastic bottles and other waste can block drains and promote flooding of our streets and buildings, something most commonly seen in Castries.
Jus’ Sail is training students as part of the Youth Skills Development Program with the Ministry of Education TVET unit over three cohorts, with fifty students in total receiving an introduction to marine sector. As part of this program it is hoped that students will gain a greater respect for the natural environment and the impact of careless human activity on our beautiful island.
Jus’ Sail wishes to thank IGY, SLHTA and Greening the Caribbean for their immediate support to this effort and hopes that others including the policy makers and legislators in the Government and Public sector will play their part in helping to solve the perennial issue of litter on our “Simply Beautiful” island.
Photo caption: Jus’ Sail Students take part in SLHTA Rodney Bay Community clean up summer 2014