Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 20, 2023 (SKNIS): In an announcement during the November 20, 2023, Sitting of Parliament, Honourable Dr. Joyelle Clarke, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Climate Action, and Constituency Empowerment, unveiled plans for the second annual Community Cleanse. This initiative is a significant step in promoting environmental health and sustainability throughout St. Kitts and Nevis.
Dr. Clarke touched briefly on the expanded scope and participation of this initiative. She noted that building on the success of the first cleanse, this year’s event is set to be bigger and better. The Ministry, along with the Ministry of Health, Parks and Beaches Unit, the Urban Development Unit, the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP), and the ELEVATE Programme, are collaboratively leading this initiative. The involvement of more community workers, truckers, and movers will extend the reach and impact of this initiative.
Focus was also placed on environmental health and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Environment Minister said that the Community Cleanse is closely aligned with the SDGs and the circular economy, all of which are crucial pillars in the sustainable island state agenda. Recognizing the interdependence of a healthy environment and a strong economy, the initiative underscores the importance of cleanliness for both tourism and public health.
Alongside the physical cleanup, the Ministry is launching an extensive awareness campaign. This will include public messaging, promotional videos featuring Cabinet members, and announcements to engage and educate the community about the importance of environmental health.
“This comprehensive community cleanse is a testament to our commitment to a clean and healthy environment. By expanding our efforts and enlisting broader community involvement, we aim to instill a sense of shared responsibility towards our environment. Our concerted efforts are crucial for sustainable development and a prosperous future for St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Dr. Clarke.
The first Community Cleanse, initiated in December 2022 by the Department of Constituency Empowerment, in partnership with Parks and Beaches, the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP), and the ELEVATE Programme, was a resounding success. It focused on improving environmental spaces through an intense, island-wide cleanup campaign, targeting beaches, parks, green spaces, cemeteries, verges, inner communities, and illegal dump sites.
The general public is encouraged to participate in the community cleanse and to heed the messaging about maintaining clean communities.