GGMC, EPA lead clean-up campaign and awareness sessions in Port Kaituma; persons fined and given citation orders for littering

PORT KAITUMA, Region One, December 22, 2016 –The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region One coordinated a clean-up campaign in the Region One community of Port Kaituma, which culminated with an awareness session on December 8, 2016.

As a result, members of the community received fines and citations for failing to adhere to litter regulations. In addition to the action against some persons in the community, residents and business owners also learned how to properly utilise the waste management site in the area.

The awareness session which took place from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm at the Port Kaituma Community Centre commenced with opening remarks by Dr. Latchmin Punalall- Environmental Awareness Coordinator, Ministry of Natural Resources, Neignbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) Chairman Mrs. Margaret Lambert, Mr. Darcy Walrond Senior Environmental Officer II GGMC, Ms. Andrea Bazilio –  Senior Regional Environmental and Health Officer. Mr. Quincy Thom Senior Environmental Officer II GGMC chaired the meeting.

Mr. Carl Foo, a Litter Warden from the EPA’s Litter Prevention Unit presented on the Litter Act and its regulations. Participants at the session were made aware about charges stipulated under the Act for both individuals and businesses. The presentation was very interactive with questions asked by residents and business owners alike.

Among the main outcomes of the meeting were the decision that there will be no dumping at the entrance of the dump site; that garbage will be dumped systematically from the farthest end at the back coming forward; that the residents and business owners will be held liable under the Litter Act for garbage or waste not properly disposed in the community; and that the NDC will maintain the dumpsite in collaboration with the Regional office after the initial clean-up.

Further, it was recommended that the renewal of business licenses at Port Kaituma be conditional, upon the satisfaction of the RDC and NDC that the applicant has maintained sanitary conditions at their place of business. It was concluded too that the pick-up and disposal of garbage at the site should be more organised.

The clean-up campaign, which commenced on December 5, 2016 ended on December 9, 2016.

This area was chosen due to the existing garbage situation, which resulted from indiscriminate dumping in areas such as, the main market area, the roadways, community centre and along the Kaituma River and its banks. There is a specific dumping site in existence for garbage at Port Kaituma but it was in urgent need of rehabilitation.

The first phase of this exercise included the rehabilitation of the existing garbage disposal site. The EPA spearheaded the second phase of this exercise, which involved enlightening the business owners and residents of Port Kaituma about the Litter Act and Regulations.

The third and final phase of this exercise included a massive clean-up of the Port Kaituma Community and also the erection of ‘Do not litter’ signs around the community.

Sixty (60) garbage bins and additional ‘Do not litter’ signs were handed over to the RDC by GGMC in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources.