SPTC Clean-up Campaign continues
Saturday, July 30th, 2016
Early in June of this year, an aggressive clean-up campaign was launched in San Pedro Town in an attempt to eliminated excess garbage from the different island sub-divisions. The initiative targeted key areas of the island that are prone to flooding during the rainy season which in return can become breeding grounds for mosquitos carrying vector diseases. San Pedrito subdivision was the first to benefit from the program and on Monday, July 25th, the clean-up campaign moved to the Elliot/Airstrip Subdivision.
The campaign is part of the Child Friendly Municipalities of Belize movement, and is spearheaded by The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It is scheduled to end in November, when all subdivisions are expected to have been cleaned up.
According to Deputy Major Gary Greif, Councillor in charge of garbage collection, the campaign saw great success in San Pedrito. With efforts from the community and the different agencies involved in the project, San Pedrito is cleaner and healthier than before. “The collection of garbage in San Pedrito came from everywhere. Households and empty lots where massive amounts of garbage were got picked up,” said Greif. He commended the enormous support of the community, who welcomed the initiative.
The San Pedro spoke with some residents of the area, who stated that there is a difference now. According to one particular resident who resides near the lagoon side of San Pedrito, she feels safer from becoming infected with any vector disease, since the area is tidier than before. Others said that this effort should have taken place long time ago, but are satisfied that the day came and now their community is clean, and beautiful. They are committed to continue keeping their area clean, and would like to remind the SPTC that they are open to any future projects they may have for the continued betterment of their subdivision.
The project has now moved to the subdivision adjacent to San Pedrito where, according to Greif, due to its size, is expected to be completed in a week. “We were supposed to have started the clean ups in the Eliot Subdivision a few weeks ago. However, due to the big fire that affected our town, we had to spend some time dealing with the tragedy and helping the victims recover,” said Greif. “But now we are ready to start again, as we continue cleaning the island bit by bit. He also mentioned that many volunteers have joined in the efforts of the campaign including members of the Fire Department, Police Department, Health Department and the SPTC. “Volunteers are always welcome to come and join us during the clean-ups,” encouraged Greif.
He stated that it is a difficult task, but not impossible as the first subdivision proved a success. The general public is again reminded that members of the SPTC along with personnel from the Ministry of Health will be going through the different subdivisions, and any one observed cleaning their yard will receive a cash compensation. The prize gets even better for the individual/s that keeps their yard clean for the longest time.
Residents of the Eliot/Airstrip subdivision have expressed their gratitude to the local authorities for initiating such a beneficial initiative. They told The San Pedro Sun that garbage is a huge issue in their vicinity, and no one wants their surroundings dirty and looking bad. “It encourages us to continue keeping our areas clean after getting the involvement of our local authorities. It shows that they care,” said one resident.
The SPTC, along with its partners, hope to see successful results at the end of the campaign, while encouraging everyone on the island to continue the initiative on their own. This joint project expects to see residents playing a key role in keeping San Pedro Town more attractive for residents and visitors alike.
For more information on the clean-up campaign, the SPTC can be reached at 226-2198 or at their offices located at Barrier Reef Drive during normal working hours.
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