BASSETERRE, St Kitts, 24 April 2023 – The Ministry of Sustainable Development led a cleanup and landscaping charge in the historic Independence Square on Tuesday 18 April 2023. This was in collaboration with the St Kitts Electricity Company and Chipeen Volunteer Center.
Sunday 16 April was internationally recognized as Good Deeds Day and the volunteers opted to apply their “good deed” by conducting the clean-up exercise, that included pruning of the vegetation in the Square.
Permanent Secretary, Sherilita “Shez” Dore-Tyson said the staff from the different Departments within the Ministry turned up in large numbers to be a part of the global effort of showing care and kindness by completing one of the major projects.
She said, “It’s really a partnership achievement. The Square is part of our national history and also part of our cultural heritage as it is now a social and economic hub. Plenty of activities happen here at the Square and the Ministry of Sustainable Development is responsible for the Square. So, we must ensure its upkeep and maintenance. We want the Square to become an eco-friendly and user-friendly environment for all citizens and visitors.”
Dore-Tyson said the aim is to have the public use the Square in a sustainable manner.
“We want people to benefit from the Square especially as the hotter days are now upon us. It’s a cool-down relaxing space in the heart of beautiful Basseterre. Hence, we are doing this project for the people of the Federation. We therefore encourage the public to help us by not littering and not tarnishing the Square in any way. Enjoy and care for the Square, and that is our message from the Ministry of Sustainable Development for Good Deeds Day 2023. We have received and we are passing the baton by volunteering to rehabilitate the Square.”
Minister of Sustainable Development et al, Hon Dr Joyelle Clarke said the Ministry understands the importance of protecting the Independence Square.
She said, “This is a space that is not just used by our locals and workers … but is also used by our visitors and we have to keep it clean that is why we started here as part of our Good Deeds Day initiative.”
Dr Clarke disclosed one of the initial problems that must be solved is the piles of garbage often seen around the Square especially on weekends. She said it is not typically generated by patrons to the Square but possibly from commercial businesses.
Minister Clarke provoked thought when she asked, “How do we manage our waste collection around Independence Square? And how do we make this space more user-friendly, keep it clean and promote environmental management and waste management as a responsibility?”
The Ministry of Sustainable Development undertook the activity as part of the rehabilitation of Independence Square, one of its capital projects for 2023, through the Urban Development Unit, the Department directly responsible for it.
The cleanup exercise is a part of the wider Independence Square Rehabilitation Project.