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EDITORIAL: For goodness sake, stop this rubbish!

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

EDITORIAL: For goodness sake, stop this rubbish!

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Once people see the beach littered, they add to it; so we have got on our hands an environmental challenge. – Tyrone Lowe, chairman of the National Conservation Commission.
Why would a single Barbadian, seeing the accumulated sargassum seaweed on our beaches, feel compelled to entwine within it discarded plastics and other rubbish? Why would any Barbadian of sound mind think this invasion of the cumbersome seaweed needs further impetus from personal untidiness and filth?
Why should any official of the National Conservation Commission (NCC) be so discomfited by the nasty habit of Barbadians that he must resign himself to the notion the seaweed proliferation presents another dumping ground for refuse? He must not!
The NCC cannot capitulate to the indifference and irresponsibility of these litterbugs who would be minded to make a bad thing worse. For all the good the seaweed might bring to fertilization and the like, its presence is an ugly sight; its elimination from our beaches is mandatory.
Its interference with the swimming enjoyment of visitors to our island is no less than with that of our locals’, and so any exacerbation of the distress by recklessly added pollution affects us all negatively.
The litterbugs must not be made to feel that we believe them to be helpless in their dirty practice; only that we will not suffer them gladly.
Come Wednesday, 400 to 500 NCC general workers will descend on the beaches from Hastings to Long Beach in Christ Church in a massive clean-up of the sargassum seaweed cum the droppings of the litter louts. Paid as they are for their duties, it will not be business as usual this week for the NCC cleaning groups. Their expected tasks are not enviable.
Already, the NCC has its challenges with picnickers whose baskets of expended goods empty themselves on our white sands, and unexplainably around provided garbage cans, rather than in them. When you add this to the demanding task of the sargassum removal, the tidying up of our beaches takes on monumental proportions.
It is not fair to the general worker.
As far as we know, NCC rangers or wardens have powers of arrest and may be ably assisted by the police in dealing with people who infringe the regulations of beach use. Some beach-goers litter the place openly with impunity.
And there are those who walk their dogs along the seashore, some off the leash, and refuse to take up their pets’ dropped faeces. Horse doo-doo is sometimes an impediment. And it all happens again and again because the offenders believe that all the NCC authorities will do is talk and talk – beg and beg.
The sargassum and other refuse clean-up cannot be “for the tourists”; it must even be more so for us Barbadians. We must disabuse ourselves of the slackness.
Cleanliness is next to godliness (Leviticus 11-17).