(Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News)
Inmates of Her Majesty’s Prison will be used to aid in clean-up efforts across the territory.
This was disclosed by Premier, Hon. Andrew Fahie in his Earth Day statement yesterday, April 22.
According to Hon. Fahie, the Government plans to “use inmates who are approved by the requisite authorities to assist with cleanup efforts."
This is not the first time that this is being initiated. Prisoners have been used in the past for cleaning and to asssit with road works.
Back in 2016, Third District Representative Hon. Julian Fraser suggested the idea that inmates be used to help clean up the Territory as part of a work release programme at the penitentiary.
Then in 2017, it was agreed that five prison inmates would be granted to the Public Works Department to assist with their projects.
These plans accompany those for a re-established litter warden programme, as well as the enforcement of penalties for littering to promote a clean and healthier environment, the Premier explained in the Earth Day missive.
Earth day is observed in over 193 countries to promote environmental awareness and calls for the protection of the planet.
“It is a privilege for us here in the Virgin Islands to also join these countries for this very important and critical observance. To this end, we intend to not only “talk the talk” but to “walk the walk” by organising, mobilising and cleaning up our communities,” the Premier stated.
He reminded of the six-month clean-up campaign that he will heading, further revealing more plans for the protection and preservation of the environment.
Among these are plans to “Implement policies and legislation for recycling and banning of items harmful to the environment, Increase enforcement measures to protect our environment, Launch an education and awareness campaign that would seek to combat the growing waste management problem in the Territory, and Assist with providing funding to purchase clean up equipment and the continued cleanup of the environment.”
Pleasure yachts will also be required to have holding tanks while a Territory-wide maintenance and beautification programme will commence, which will see more green spaces in the BVI.
“I acknowledge the policy changes that are needed in order to address the environmental challenges we face and I am committed to doing my part. However, proper waste management is something each person can personally address. Every piece of trash we pick up helps to clean up our communities,” Hon. Fahie stressed.
He reflected on the negative and harmful impact of improper waste disposal, such as the poisoning of water sources and increased carbon emissions, revealing that collaborations from stakeholders across the territory to tackle these issues are ongoing.