Mayor Francis Kicks off Castries Clean City Campaign
Castries Mayor Peterson Francis has embarked on a campaign to get citizens to stop what he described as “inconsiderate littering” saying this is a problem in the city.
The Clean City Campaign, as the operation is called, will be part of plans of a broader national campaign aimed at making Castries one of the cleanest and greenest cities in the region.
“The campaign we hope will reach out to every stratum of society and seek to instill in St. Lucians, particularly residents and visitors to Castries, the importance of keeping our public places and city clean,” Francis said, adding that it pertains also to persons who still risk urinating in the corridors of the capital.
Francis’ campaign mirrors another operation soon to commence, which is driven by the government to create a cleaning plan that includes the creation of green spaces in the City of Castries. Government intends to knock down some buildings in the city to create the green space spoken off.
The building housing the government printery on Jeremie Street, parliament building and the old court house are all earmarked for demolition, as part of plans by the government to remodel the city.
“The Office of the Mayor believes that improved environmental conditions would not only enhanced the quality of life for residents and visitors to Castries and cultivate national pride, but also attract more persons to invest in Castries,” Francis said.
But this is not the first time the City of Castries has seen anti-littering campaigns. Some campaigns lasted longer than others. One in particular had litter wardens roaming the city’s streets to deter persons from littering. In fact there is a Litter Act in effect in the country under which one could be charged for littering. The charges under the act ranged from $150.00 to $1500.00 and in some cases, where the law so dictates, up to six months in prison.
Francis, during his campaign launch earlier today, spoke of the indiscriminate dumping of waste in drains, rivers and other places around the country, claiming that this was intensifying the already serious risks posed by climate change.
“Action is required at all levels of society to address the country’s litter problem as an important measure especially as it relates to climate change adaptation,” he said.
According to the Mayor, indiscriminate dumping of waste contaminates water sources, creates breeding grounds for vector borne diseases and also clogs drains making environments conducive for flooding. He said that the problems are broad and wide-spread from urinating, defecating, littering and spitting in the streets to trucks carrying goods uncovered, cement trucks included, all contributing to the problem.
“While personal responsibility is critical, the legislation is there to be enforced and help curb the problem,” Francis said.
Over 200 sanitation workers within the Castries Constituency Council (CCC) will be part of the clean-up campaign. They will be cleaning and beautifying the city on a regular basis.
Mayor Francis promised more greenery in the city as a result of his clean-up campaign with flowers being planted throughout the city.
The Clean City Campaign will incorporate public educational activities and clean-up campaigns. The city police will enforce and advise members of the public against littering and new waste disposal bins will be placed all around the city as of this week.