EDITOR, The Tribune.
It is appalling to drive the streets of Nassau each day and see the vast amount of litter all over our main thoroughfares. Unfortunately, I have to make frequent trips to the airport and usually end up disgusted with the state of cleanliness. This is not a rare sight, but a constant state of affairs.
The corridor from the airport is among the first and last visuals that a visitor will see when he enters and exits our country. The roads are consistently littered with tyres, bottles, styrofoam food containers, trash, dead animals, plastic containers, boxes, trees, abandoned vehicles and other miscellaneous items. There is a need to have someone clean the roads daily.
To see the same litter day after day says that we are not serious about the cleanliness of our city. The other destinations we compete against (eg Disney world) are immaculate on any day at any time of the day.
The grass and trees along the roads need to be maintained. On a bi-monthly, someone is seen cutting the grass. It doesn’t matter what his contract says or what he is paid to do the grass is only cut bi-monthly.
The sole proprietor can be seen using a small home lawn mower. It takes them a few days to simply cut the grass and that is all they do.
They do not weed before cutting the grass or pick up the litter. They do not edge to keep the vegetation from encroaching the verges. The expensive landscaping of plants, flowers and hedges placed at the roundabouts (eg East Street and East west Highway and two highway) have been totally destroyed.
They were not maintained because the persons who cut the grass have no landscaping experience and allow the deterioration of the plant life leaving simply weed and grass.
Why not hire a firm with landscaping experience who will weed, clean, cut the grass, edge, and maintain the landscaping with the capability to do it weekly instead of hiring someone who will sub-contract to individuals. Also, there is no need to have the bags of trash left along the road for weeks to be collected.
The trash bags should be collected on the same day the grass is cut. Better yet, use lawn mowers with bags that hold the clipped grass.
Please stop embarrassing us with dirty roads all over Nassau. Take a book from Freeport and keep the city clean or find out what is done on Paradise Island if you need advice.
The next big problem is indiscriminate dumping which has skyrocketed. It seems that the same places are being dumped repeatedly and all we do is clean them up after months of neglect and have no plan to discourage this abusive behaviour. This invites contractors and the like to do it all over again. Let’s get creative, for example, place a camera at the popular dump sites (eg Saint Augustine’s College entrance on Prince Charles, South Beach Pools and surrounding area, etc) and catch the dumpers red-handed. Because we know that most of dumping takes place under the cover of darkness. It may be worth it to place someone (security guard) at popular spots at designated times to deter dumping and write down the licence plates and take the photos of all who attempt to dump and shame them publicly.
Sir, have you visited our beaches recently? They are filthy. Locals populate the beaches and leave food, articles of clothing, dog dung, water containers, etc, all over our beautiful beaches. Rodents have populated unchecked.
Let’s get a better plan to clean the public beaches every day. The beaches are one of the main reasons tourists visit our shores and when they go to our beaches they are likely to take pictures of their state.
Can we agree that downtown needs improvement? Many areas look and smell deplorable. Let’s confront the problem instead of acting like everything is fine and find out how to reduce the stink of the horses and the sewer. Because of the amount of traffic from the cruise ships this area needs monitoring on an hourly basis to keep clean.
Finally, attractions like sixty-six steps are visited by many tourists and do not leave a positive impression. Initially, the rank smell hits you in the face and then the untidiness adds insult to injury. Let’s spend a few dollars to make our historical sites more attractive.
The cleanliness of our country is basic.
If our elected officials cannot get that right how can we expect that they can be trusted with more difficult and complicated matters?
It seems that we have become immune to the dirty streets and dumping so much so that we pass them daily without giving a second thought. That means it has become entrenched in our minds and psyche and we see it as normal. This must not happen. Dirt and filth should not become the norm because when this happens we see nothing extraordinary or wrong about it.
We must find a way to teach our children not to litter and punish our adults that engage in this behaviour. This is the only way the “litter gene” will be extinguished. Being clean should give a sense of pride and the opposite should be scorned, reprimanded and ostracised. I am a concerned citizen of our beloved country.
October 5, 2015.