NASSAU – The R.M Bailey Park is to be transformed into a recreational facility similar to the Fish Fry at Nassau’s Western Esplanade, Minister of the Environment the Hon. Earl Deveaux said.
“We want to create a lasting recreational value in all our public places by stimulating economic activity and putting people to work doing things that help improve the ambiance of our natural environment,” said Mr Deveaux.
In a weekend interview, the Minister updated the media on the Government’s beautification and cleanup programme launched at downtown Nassau, December 9. Mr Deveaux said the Environmental Court would be returned into operation to address littering and indiscriminate dumping.
The beautification and cleanup programme has two main objectives – to provide jobs for unemployed persons and to address “increased criticism about the filth in New Providence,” Mr Deveaux said.
“We are now entering a phase where you will see us in Bain and Grant’s Towns taking out derelict vehicles and garbage from junkanoo shacks, residential areas and business places,” said Mr Deveaux.
New native Bahamian trees are going to be planted in parks and along the highways’ median strips.
“We will keep the programme going but in a sustainable way where the road verges, parks and beaches will be cleaned,” said Mr Deveaux. He told of boardwalks being created at places like the RM Bailey Park “where we expect that they would look similar to the Fish Fry where we would have benches, observation places and parking spaces.”
Already the Ministry has advertised its schedule for regular residential garbage collection, utilizing new equipment.
Also, there is a programme for householders and business operators to have their garbage disposed of into the landfill, he said, adding that those who indiscriminately litter would be prosecuted.
There is already approval for the Environmental Court to meet on Saturdays.
“There is a large element of public education that is going to be important,” said the Minister, “but our first duty is to dispose of the litter and have such means available to the general public in a way that it is not a burden to them.”
The response to the programme, he said “has been tremendous.”
The Ministry of Tourism complimented the effort and the Government praised the Department of Environmental Health Services, headed by Director Melony McKenzie.
“We are more than pleased that we are getting the kind of support in the public domain from the clients we are seeking to serve,” said Mr. Deveaux. “We believe it will only get better.
“As we make bins available, as we make the routine of garbage collection and disposal better, people will respond accordingly. Everybody is happier in a cleaner, healthier environment.”
These workers take up seaweed from Long Wharf Beach as part of the Ministry of the Environment’s beautification program. (BIS photo by Patrick Hanna)
Minister of the Environment, Earl Deveaux. (BIS photo by Patrick Hanna)