Our Readers' Opinions
May 23, 2017
Keep your country clean!

EDITOR: The cries of disbelief, disgust, annoyance and anger belong to those Vincentians who are aware of the implications of the improper disposal of waste, garbage, refuse. These feelings they experience on seeing how many of our fellow citizens, normally practise life in these lands.

Listen, you will hear of a Pole yard dweller regularly dumping her household waste into the river nearby, or the pigpen dumping all their remnants in the same. There is the cartman in Kingstown, leaving daily all his coconut shells in the gutter. There is the regular vendor near the school, where all the popsicle plastic and chicken bones go over the walled fence. There are the local rum shops with back walls, where urine is deposited daily. There are the KFC boxes and cups thrown mindlessly out of vehicles. The chicken farmer, who is absolutely insensitive to the residential area where he operates and does not care to learn proper methods of treating his waste. There are people who dump their old appliances and vehicles on the sides of

the roads, where they remain for decades. Some burn plastic and tyres and even do so in residential areas. The stories go on, and on, and on. This country is becoming alarmingly polluted, with not just noise and smoke, but also with garbage, litter and refuse.

Is this the beautiful St Vincent and the Grenadines we are so proud of and want to remain feeling this way about, for generations to come? Are some of our heads in the sand? I do not believe many are desensitized to this ill in our society, but rather many are at a loss as to what can possibly be done about it. Like so many other frustrating things faced, we seem to have entered an era where hopelessness, mind fog and immobilization have set in by the seeming impossibility of it all.

What do responsible citizens have that polluting ones don’t? This is a question that our government is obviously yet to take a serious look at. Are they also feeling hopeless, mind fogged and immobilized? No, not at all, as they definitely have excelled at some things.

There is currently a need for a revolution in education that speaks to this and I am not talking about in our formal education system primarily. This has nothing to do with tourism either. This is for us, all Vincentians. There is urgent and crucial compulsion for a societal drive with fervent passion and fire to stamp out this

evil in Vincentian kitchens, homes, back and front yards, villages, rivers, streams, mountains towns, roads, public buildings and venues, drains, schools, churches, villages and towns.

We have the mind set in this country where we pull out the best for visitors and when they are not looking, we can be any old way. This is grossly seen in public service discrepancies in how different customers are served. If you look and talk a certain way, you will be treated accordingly. This is the same mentality that is governing Vincentian society in other areas. You ‘nice up’ to show certain classes, but it will not matter too much if it is just others. There is something gravely needing rethinking in this mindset and the revolution of education in society must address this. Why can’t our children sit in the best chairs in the house, sleep on the nice bedding or drink from the nice glasses? Surely the guest will think it’s normal when they visit. But when they are gone, you and your children will think that your family is not as deserving of something proper, as your guest.

I have a dream, that one day, old and young Vincentians will be respected for their environmental practices and dogma and not by the stereotypes of a developing third world country. That we will stand out in the world as a country of people of colour, who keep their country meticulously spic and span.

Please, Vincentians, help yourselves!

Vinny Newton