In an effort to improve public awareness of and community participation in the Georgetown Solid Waste Management Project (SWMP), a media workshop, which saw the participation of several media houses from across the nation, was held yesterday.
After Guyana’s recent flash floods, which emphasized the need for proper waste management, the workshop presented an opportune moment for an evaluation of some of the issues, attitudes, and behaviours that are evident and prevalent in our society, Minister of Local Government Ganga Persaud said.
Persaud emphasized the role the media plays in the sensitisation of the public on solid waste management issues and promised activities that will see effective use of electronic and print media. In partnership with the media, public awareness on solid waste management and environmentally sound practices will be widely disseminated.
He went on to state that the media and the SWMP needed to work together to identify respective roles to ensure a better, healthier environment for all Guyana.
Efforts will also be made, he said, to produce appropriate infomercials and to target schools. Persaud insisted that for a change in the attitudes that persist towards solid waste management, initiatives targeting the youths will be most effective. Previously, booklets had been issued to schools but Persaud admitted that he was unaware on the effectiveness of those published works. However, he promised that this time around, mechanisms will be put in place to gather feedback on the use and impact of the books.
Columnist Allan Fenty encouraged those in the media to inform and educate the public on solid waste management instead of just talking about garbage. He also mentioned a planned programme, titled “What a Shame”, for which a jingle has already been produced.
The Georgetown SWMP was financed by a loan agreement between the Government of Guyana and the Inter-American Development Bank in the sum of US$18.7 million. The programme, which has 6 components, is currently in its second component, the “Community Participation and Public Awareness Programme”.