Imagine Grand Anse Beach with no sea bathers. Imagine the ocean without fish. Imagine the Isle of Spice where the air we breathe kills. I wish to draw to your attention a problem that will inevitably have adverse effects on our environment.
The treatment of the environment is a direct reflection of the values held by the people who occupy the space. According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, Pollution refers to “the introduction of any form of impurities into the natural environment”.
The significant increase in pollution over the past four years in Grenada whether it is the excessive burning of fuel, the indiscriminate dumping of waste materials (primarily plastic) in our drains, rivers and on our streets and beaches demonstrates a lack of concern for the health and longevity of the society as well as the lives of our marine life.
Air pollution is very dangerous and is the most common form of pollution. It occurs as a result of excessive burning of fuel which is a necessity for our daily lives be it cooking, driving or other industrial activities. This releases a huge amount of chemical substances in the atmosphere everyday and pollutes the air.
The release of sulphur dioxide into the air from the smoke from vehicles and factories on a long term basis causes global warming and acid rain. This in turn leads to increase temperature and drought making it difficult for animals to survive.
We as Grenadians depend heavily on animals for food therefore if we kill out the animals then we diminish our food source which will eventually result in food shortages or possible starvation.
Water pollution has taken a toll on all the surviving species on earth. Almost 60% of the species live in water bodies. Contamination of our river, oceans and other bodies of water via oil spills and industrial waste result in the death of aquatic life and a severe imbalance in the food chain which negatively affect human dependent on these animals.
Plastic and bottle on our beaches, in our drains and on our streets are extremely unsightly and may repel tourists from frequenting our shores. Our tourist industry will undoubtedly suffer a decline in the revenue our country collects from the tourist industry if our tourists go elsewhere.
Increase in land pollution can also result in an increase in the prevalence of vector borne diseases such as Chikungunya, dengue, malaria, etc.
I strongly suggest that forums geared towards educating our citizens on the dangers of pollution are regularly held and that radio and television programs together with billboards are all organised and constructed to sensitise the public.
In addition, harsher penalties should be put in place to deter citizens from destroying the same space that they are dependent upon
St Mark’s Secondary School