Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has expressed alarm over the “serious littering” taking place at the St. George’s Terminus and called on stakeholders to address the issue as a matter of priority.
Speaking on a resolution in Parliament for the Non-Biodegradable Bill last Friday, the Prime Minister mandated stakeholder bodies to implement a plan that will ensure that “persons who break the law of the land will in fact be punished appropriately”.
He said that the type of littering taking place at the Bus Terminus is not just about the nation’s health but also about the environment.
He lamented the fact that the Bus Terminus is being used as a “dumping ground” by busmen and citizens alike.
“It appears that anytime one has something to throw in St. George’s, he or she ends up at the Bus Terminus and dump it in the background”, he told the sitting of Parliamentarians.
Prime Minister Mitchell stated that this is bad for the image of Grenada as the Cruise Ship port is located in a key area of the city.
“We’ve heard the Minister of Tourism articulate the enormous benefits that come from the tourism industry and the accolades that are coming from visitors – we have to keep this and we don’t want for a person visiting our country looking at that section and the first thing they see is almost a dump”, he said.
The Prime Minister stressed that not only plastic is dumped within the area of the Bus Terminus but “all forms of things” and that sometimes the place is being used as a bathroom facility.
He said: “This is unacceptable, whether it’s bus drivers or persons looking for transport (to go) different parts of the country (doing the littering), whichever it is, Mr. Speaker, we have to be concerned.
“We have a responsibility in our country not just to deal with issues that may sound popular to us but sometimes to say the things that even are not popular to people because we have a responsibility to the future generations”, he added.
According to Prime Minister Mitchell, the task that now lies ahead is to get the situation under control with the use of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF), Ports Authority and Ministry of the Environment.
“I convened a meeting only last week with the Police Commissioner, the Chairman of the Port Authority and the Minister responsible for the Environment who are now going to be putting a plan in place”, he said.
Dr. Mitchell spoke of the need for these stakeholders to bring into fruition a “serious implementation” plan to ensure that “we clean up that place and we protect it and ensure that those who break the laws of the land will in fact be punished appropriately”.
He suggested that the Ports Authority will have to invest resources into the facilities at the Bus Terminus especially the putting down of more bathroom facilities for use by the public.
“…We can’t say that we want something done and we have one bathroom facility for hundreds of persons – they have been instructed to do so”, he said.
According to PM Mitchell, the small police station at the Bus Terminus needs to be better equipped including additional personnel to provide for the kind of security that is required on the compound.
He said that a greater police presence is a must to ensure that the laws of the land are protected and at the same time “control some behaviour patterns, not just environmental, other behavior patterns which are inconsistent with the sort of environment that we want to create at our Bus Terminus”.
“So, the police will be involved in providing more manpower and support services to the area and of course the Solid Waste Division under the Minister responsible for the Environment would also be involved because we are dotting I’s and crossing the Ts.”