01st February 2016
Caretaker for the area, Senator Londel Benjamin said that the clean-up and beautification exercise could not have come at a better time.
“Great, Great, Great, it came right on time, just when we were getting licks from the constituents about the cleanliness and upkeep of the area, and what they thought was the Government’s lack of interest so to speak, but I can assure them that we were working behind the scenes to pull off this massive cleanup event”, Benjamin said.
Benjamin expressed his delight with the overwhelming support being shown by Health Minister Molwyn Joseph and promised to continue the beautification work throughout the days ahead.
“We just want to say thank you to the Minister of Health and the Environment for this great support today, we covered quite a bit of the area and we will continue during the week. As you know this is a huge constituency, it stretches from Valley Road all the way to Five Islands, it’s huge and we hope that with a little education, the residents will keep the area in the spic and span condition as it is in today”, he continued.
Regarding the threat of the Zika Virus across the region, Benjamin is of the view that clean-up campaigns and beautification initiatives such as the one is a great tool in the fight against the epidemic.
The exercise, which also forms part of a massive OECS clean-up initiative to further root out possible breeding grounds for the Aedes aegypti mosquito, saw almost a hundred individuals from the community and the Solid Waste Department busily cutting down trees, mowing the side of the roads, cleaning vacant lots, removing broken down and derelict vehicles, power washing gutters, removing debris and shrubs and disposing of garbage.
One of the individuals working the Weed Whacker on Sunday was well known Horticulturist, Cedric “Jawawa” Dunnah, who said that the initiative was making him beam with national pride.
“I feel very proud to know that I can be a part of this whole operation and to know that I can represent an institution that has the nation at heart, I believe it is very important for people to keep their surroundings clean, mostly for national pride and with the place looking nice and clean and environmentally friendly, then most naturally the Zika Virus will not be a part of this whole operation”, Dunnah said.
Ian Bailey, the Assistant Operations Manager at the National Solid Waste Management Authority was also on hand and he described the beautification effort as one of national security interests.
Bailey, who is responsible for garbage collection further stressed the important role that the exercise plays in reducing the Aedes Aegypti Mosquitoes.
“With the notion that the Zika Virus is imminent in the Caribbean, we want to ensure that we do our part to keep it out of Antigua so it is very timely that we are here today to clean up the Grays-Green Community. This is extremely important that we clean up these communities but it is up to the people now to do the maintenance of it”, Bailey noted.
Sunday’s event also attracted over two dozen members of the Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force who played an integral part in the clean-up campaign.