By Kevon Browne
St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Climate change and the environment was the theme for the Tuesday (September 29) broadcast of Leadership Matters. Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris started his remarks by speaking about the prevalence of single-use plastic in the federation that is polluting beaches and natural habitats undermining the sustainability of our fisheries resources. Harris also commented on the need to create a wildlife sanctuary for the native primates in an effort to protect farms while providing a safe space with replenishing food supplies for the animals.
Harris also suggested the use of a large portion of the primates for experiments to help advance medical development in the federation.
“Here in St. Kitts and Nevis, we are fortunate enough to have two primate facilities doing important scientific research in Parkinson’s and other diseases.”
Currently, policy decisions are being developed to enhance the environment, and to place controls on the locations and quantity for the procurement of beach and ghaut sand. Harris then went on to list the official sand and mining sites.
“These are La Vallee for beach sand and Lodge Ghaut for ghaut sand.”
Conversely, sand mining has been illegal in Nevis since the 1990’s.
A proposal for the build-out of alternative energy has been made, Harris further explained:
“In this regard, the government at the federal level has signed a contract to establish the largest solar plant in St. Kitts and Nevis. This will go a major way in reducing our dependence on fossil fuel.”
He indicated that there is also a project to replace 10,047 street lamps that are high-pressure sodium and mercury vapor lamps with the more environmentally friendly high efficient L.E.D. models.
Additionally, the project includes replacing 1,024 existing flood lamps at various sporting fields and courts around the federation with the more efficient L.E.D. models.
“The effect of the previous two measures will lead to an estimated 44% reduction in the government’s energy bill.”
Harris stressed that the way we treat our environment is critical to our development and survival.
In some tips at the close of his remarks, Harris mentioned that we should try our best to buy local and opt-out of the purchasing of processed food since carbon based energy is used to make those food adding to the problem that is climate change. He went on to state more tips on how we can help combat climate change on an individual level including the use of water conservation techniques such as installing low flow taps and personal cisterns, as well as energy conservation practices including the use of solar panels and water heaters.
“Kindly adopt best practices at the household, community and national level for example the efficient use of water and energy and the adoption of the three R principle of reduce, reuse, and recycle.”