Stop the litter bugs

Guyana Chronicle
June 9, 2001

LITTERING is a serious offence in most countries where exacting penalties are meted out against offenders.

It should not be any different in Guyana, especially at this time when the country is trying to lure tourists.

Getting a change in ways has to start with educating the people, both young and old, about the seriousness of littering. Schools need to do a lot more in educating children about the scourge of littering.

Mini-buses and other vehicles on the move are two sources of littering on the roads. Passengers very often dump food boxes, paper cups, tissues and food particles, among other things through the windows of these vehicles.

This is a bad practice and drivers of all vehicles must warn their passengers of the consequences of such acts.

We believe that if litter is seen tossed from a moving vehicle, both the driver and the guilty person should be hauled before the court and made to pay the penalty for the offence.

The authorities cannot sit back and allow some sick people in society to continue with this unhealthy and dangerous exercise.

All must help to protect and safeguard the environment and keep the streets and surroundings free from litter.

Some time ago, a few persons were pulled before the courts for littering.

While this is good, some feel the fines were too light and suggest that offenders should be made to pay heavy fines and do a stint of community service when they are found guilty.

If the fines for these practices or offences of similar nature are light, some people would not care less about repeating the acts. The law has to be stern and severe and people must understand that part of their duties to society is to help preserve and keep their surroundings clean and tidy.

There must also be care in the transporting of industrial waste. On several occasions, trucks and other vehicles transporting the waste are not properly covered, and in some instances before reaching their dumping ground, almost half of the refuse is seen scattered along roadways and parapets.

This and indeed all forms of littering are disgusting. Flying debris is also a source of fatal accidents.

Suitable mechanisms must be in place to rid the society of the litter bugs once and for all.

Apart from the ordinary plastic plates and cups and food particles, some people are in the habit of dumping large quantities of household garbage, including old tree trunks, washing machines and refrigerators on parapets along important roadways.

This is outrageous and an eyesore.

We believe the "Nice up Guyana" committee should be more vigilant and look out for those who decorate the surroundings with their rubbish.

The East Bank highway, the only road link from the international airport to Georgetown is the one which tourists entering Guyana have to travel and from which they usually get first impressions.

Attention needs to be focused there because the litter bugs do a lot of damage.

All should make a genuine effort to help beautify and keep the surroundings clean and healthy.

This by itself could be a major contributor to tourist arrivals here.