The Keep Grand Bahama Clean Committee in conjunction with various companies and organizations launched their Partners Against Litter Campaign for the month of April, during a press conference at the Ministry for Grand Bahama on Wednesday, March 29.
Nakira Wilchcombe, Chairperson of the Keep Grand Bahama Clean Committee (KGBCC) told this daily that it is important for the partners to be active during this initiative.
“This month, the month of April we really want partners to get on board in promoting in the various organizations and businesses the concept of clean Grand Bahama as it relates to litter,” she said.
Wilchombe added that the committee’s goal is for people to take on the responsibility of keeping the island litter free.
“We really want to sensitize individuals of the importance – whether you’re a resident or a visitor,” she said.
Wilchcombe added that the committee had invited representatives from several of their partnering organizations to speak during the press conference, including the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, The Bahamas National Trust (BNT), the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF), the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF), GB Envirobins, the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA), the Ministry for Grand Bahama and the Ministry of Tourism.
Tiffany Meadows, First Vice President of the Pi Upsilon Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority Incorporated stated that a part of their international program is environmental ownership. “We have an initiative, Acts of Green, that encourages responsible stewardship of natural resources.
“This year we partnered with Keep Grand Bahama Clean and The Bahamas National Trust to launch our competition in the junior and senior high schools, where students are encouraged to use a percentage of recycled materials in an art piece,” she explained.
Meadows furthered that the art pieces would be displayed during the month of April and hopefully, help the community see the value of recycled materials.
Elaine Smith, of the Sustainable Tourism Unit in the Ministry of Tourism stated that the Ministry is pleased to partner with the Keep Grand Bahama Clean Committee as well as other government and private agencies involved in this campaign.
“Each year thousands of visitors travel to Grand Bahama Island to enjoy our natural environment. Unfortunately there have been a number of reports from them speaking to the unclean state of our many beaches, ” she said.
She added that this is an area that highly concerns the Ministry and they must ensure that their product is up to standard.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Henry Rolle, of the RBPF stated that the local police are fully supportive of the campaign and noted that there can be severe consequences for persons who litter such as a $5,000 fine or even up to 12 months imprisonment.
Rashema Ingraham of GB Envirobins stated that they were excited the entire month of April is being dedicated to being litter free.
She noted that the company has provided 18 garbage bins along the major highways on the island.
“We have bins on East Sunrise Highway, Seahorse Road as well as Pioneer’s Way and the Mall Drive,” she said.
Ingraham encouraged members of the public to use the bins to keep the island clean and prevent facing the penalties Rolle Previously mentioned.
Cheri Wood, Educational Outreach Officer for the Bahamas National Trust stated that April is a very special month for them.
“This is what The Bahamas National Trust does every single day, so April is really special because we have so many more partners that are gathering together all for the same reason,” she said.
She revealed that the BNT partners with schools and visits local them on a daily basis to make presentations and inform students on the importance of environmental health along with many other initiatives.
Ricardo Major, Principal of Genesis Academy and Coral Gardens Community Activist, revealed that he has already started working on his own clean-up initiative to clean-up Coral Gardens.
He reached out to the committee and they agreed to partner with him.
“Our project program starts on the 30th of this month, with a community walkabout,” he said.
The first community cleanup in Coral Garden will occur on the following Saturday (April 1).
Darrell Jones, RBDF Rangers stated that they have been assisting the Keep Grand Bahama Clean Committee for years and will also be participating in the Coral Gardens clean-up on Saturday.
“We try to instill in the kids that the situation of litter is a serious thing,” he said.
According to Jones, many young Bahamas do not take littering serious until they are better informed of its harmful effects.
Olethea Gardener, Co-Chairperson of Keep Grand Bahama Clean Committee shared the list of events that would take place next month. Other than the Coral Gardens’ walkabout and clean-up there would be one clean-up at the International Bazaar and a third in the West End Community.
Gardener added that they would also be making presentations with the help of organizations such as the Rotary Clubs, Lion Club, and Pilot Club, as well as visiting schools to perform puppet shows, all in the effort of spreading environmental awareness.
She furthered that on April 21, there would be a demonstration where persons would be at various areas on Grand Bahama with messages to remind persons that it is their responsibility to keep the island clean.
Gardener finally stated that the month would end with a Grab-a-thon and Block Party on April 29. Persons can contact them for more information on the events as well as to express concerns and make suggestions.
“For any information please feel free to call us at 350-9158 or 350-9172,” she said.
Persons can also like the committee’s Facebook page Keep GB Clean. Other partners in the campaign are AML Foods, Urban Renewal, Department of Environmental Health Services, Sanitation Services Company Ltd, private sector businesses, non-governmental organizations, the media, civic organizations and residents.
Published Friday, March 31, 2017