World Environment Day is celebrated annually on June 5.
It is fitting that this occasion, which serves to remind us that the environment is not something ‘out there’ but rather something that we are all a part of, and that we all depend upon, should be marked also in ‘Pure’, green, unspoiled Grenada.
What initiatives would best serve to remind the public that soil, sea and air all need to be kept free of contaminants and pollutants, so that our food is safe, our water is clean; and our nature, so attractive to the economically vital tourist market which is at last reviving, is unburdened?
Here is one such initiative. It is on the Constantine / Willis road that leads to Annandale. This area, one of the main tourist routes in an area of exceptional beauty, suffered from the dumping of building materials late last year. Solid Waste, alerted to this outrage, turned out in December 2021, and removed the rubbish, much of which had tumbled downhill.
It is not Solid Waste’s job to do this. Solid Waste is there to empty bins and to ensure that the Island’s only legal dump site at Perseverance is fit and available to receive waste. It is the building contractor’s job to ensure that any waste goes to Perseverance. We all pay, through taxes, for Solid Waste’s additional activities. The offending materials were removed, and a ‘No Dumping’ notice was erected. A pity, and an embarrassment, that it was needed.
A pity and an embarrassment also that it was ignored. More dumping took place at the same site in late May this year. The sign was broken, presumably maliciously, as a sign of contempt. Once again, the environment has been scarred.
A fine way to celebrate World Environment Day, and to demonstrate Grenada’s ‘pure’ credentials.
We call upon all candidates for election, from all contending political parties, to make reference to the environment. It is our life support system, literally. Our road network is not a dumpsite. Drains are for drainage. Rivers are for safe drinking water. The ocean and the forest are ecosystems in their own right and are valuable recreational resources. Solid Waste workers are not paid to make good the abuse of our nature.
We appeal to all of our would-be parliamentary representatives, now and after the election, to set an example, to lead, to denounce the scourge of dumping and littering. Yes, employment, poverty, education, health, food security, infrastructure and more are burning issues. But if we push Nature past her breaking point, all human endeavours are in vain.