BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, August 31, 2020 (S.T.E.P.) — The second in a series of Community Clean Up activities held under the theme ‘Keeping Covid out by cleaning up’ took place on Saturday August 29, and the area of concentration was the Fort Thomas Hotel in West Basseterre.
The event, which was coordinated by the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council, saw stakeholders from Solid Waste Management Corporation (SWMC), Ministry of Tourism, Department of Environment, Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP), Parks and Beaches, and Volunteer Corps of the Department of Youth Empowerment take part in the noble exercise.
Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) Senior Field Officer, Mr Jason McKoy, who coordinated STEP Community Enhancement Workers from West Basseterre as they worked alongside the other stakeholders, said he was happy with what they were able to accomplish.
“The Fort Thomas Hotel is of historical significance to our country, and it is sad that some of our people have turned the area into a second landfill,” lamented Mr McKoy. “I want to thank Mrs Diannille Taylor-Williams, the Chair of St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council for ensuring that ‘Keeping Covid out by cleaning up’ is not an empty slogan. People have answered to the call to keep their country clean, and we are marching on.”
Mr McKoy also thanked Ms Shaline Welcome, Community Tourism Officer, who has been working hand in hand with Mrs Taylor-Williams in the campaign to keep the country clean. Mrs Diannille Taylor-Williams is the Assistant Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism.
The first Community Clean Up activity was held on Saturday August 15 and the areas of focus were the Basseterre Valley Aquifer, and around the fisheries complex in Basseterre.
The second Community clean up activity under the theme ‘Keeping Covid out by cleaning up’ at the Fort Thomas Hotel was supposed to have been held on Saturday August 22, but was put off as a result of the passage of Tropical Storm (later Hurricane) Laura.
“I am happy that my field officers, Mr Cleneiro McMahon and Mr Damien Weekes, were able to mobilise our community enhancement workers in West Basseterre and from the cleaning aspect of it we have done a pretty much good job,” said Mr McKoy. “We want to ensure that Fort Thomas Hotel does not go back to where it was. It will be maintained by the Parks and Beaches Unit and the STEP workers.”
The STEP Senior Field Officer noted that through the efforts of Mrs Diannille Taylor-Williams, a corporate citizen – Rock and Dirt Construction Ltd – provided a backhoe which assisted in removing littered garbage on the compound and placing it in the dumpsters provided by the Solid Waste Management Corporation.
“I am proud of our STEP Community Enhancement Workers as they have done a good job in a short time and for them to say they will come back to finish the work, that deserves great commendation,” said Mr McKoy. “I know they will work in collaboration with the Parks and Beaches Unit to keep this our historical place in its best shape possible.”
In the meantime, STEP Supervisor for the West Basseterre area Mr Dwight Hodge noted that there was plenty of work to do including cutting of the tall grass and bushes growing in the compound. The trash was later loaded onto a pickup owned by one of their contemporaries, Mr Joseph ‘Michael’ Howell, who took it to the landfill.
“My team is a happy team – all the time we take pride in keeping our country clean,” said Mr Hodge. “There was plenty of work for us to do, and as you can see we ain’t finish as there is still more to do. In this respect, my team will come back on Monday.”
The Community Clean Up campaign under the theme ‘Keeping Covid out by cleaning up’ moves to the Shadwell and College Street Ghaut areas of Central Basseterre on Saturday September 5. According to Mr Jason McKoy, STEP Community Enhancement workers to be involved in that exercise will be drawn from the Shadwell and Monkey Hill areas.