We need to sensitise citizens about waste management in Bartica

Dear Editor,

An Integrated Solid Waste Management Programme is critical to a cleaner, greener Bartica.

A year ago, solid waste was a burden, an environmental crisis, a health hazard. Today, with the support of government and stakeholders we are doing much better, but we are still some distance off from where we should be. With a small population of just under 15, 000, we are committed to modelling best waste disposal practices, which will not only enhance the aesthetics of the township but positively impact on the health of its citizenry.

Council is presently spending millions of dollars per month to keep Bartica clean, which includes managing the Byderabo dumpsite. This site was recently rehabilitated by the Town Council through funding from the government.

In the year 2017, the municipality will be placing greater emphasis on sensitization. An educated populace on Integrated Solid Waste Management may be the answer to a cleaner, greener Bartica.

The incident where an international institution burnt documents at our dumpsite on Wednesday, January 11, resulting in a massive fire; the continuing littering of our parapets with construction waste by some contractors; and the dumping of garbage on sections of our reserves and beaches are cause for much worry.

What is common on all fronts is the “We did not know” exclamation. Unfortunate as it may be, it highlights the challenges the municipality has in moving forward. We can no longer continue to only invest in machinery and equipment; we must invest in the populace as well. Therefore, a massive sensitization programme, targeting every resident has now become a priority. Residents, businesses and institutions must understand their responsibility in achieving the goal of a cleaner, greener Bartica. It must not be taken for granted or assumed that the citizenry understand or know.

The municipality by no means can do it alone. Stakeholders’ participation through education will make a tremendous difference.

Yours faithfully,

Gifford Marshall

Mayor

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