The MAB National Committee Clean-up declared a success: Volunteerism is alive and well!!!

St. Mary’s Biosphere Reserve St. Kitts Nevis: 29th January 2022.   The MAB National Committee’s call for volunteers to assist with the clean-up of the Cayon River, Hermitage and Keys Bay Areas was answered resoundingly on Saturday 29th January, 2022. Heavy equipment operators (L and B Ltd) and over one hundred and twenty (120) volunteers from around the island converged on the clean-up sites at Cayon River, Hermitage and Keys Bay Areas at 6.30 a.m. to assist with a major clean-up activity which lasted until about 10a.m.

This event was a critical component of the UNESCO-funded Participation Programme entitled ‘Clean-up of Cayon River, Hermitage Estate, and Hermitage and Keys Bay Areas’.   It forms part of the continued efforts to enhance the natural environment of the SMBR by removing from the Cayon River and Hermitage and Keys Bays, what has, over many years become unsightly, unhealthy and dangerous garbage. 

Volunteers were drawn from several institutions including the recently instated MAB junior Ambassadors from the Cayon Primary School (24) and Cayon High School (8); St. Kitts and Nevis SAFE/Youth Volunteer Corp (9); Ross University Turtle Monitoring Network(14); Solid Waste Management Corporation (1); Cayon Netball Team (1); Clean-Rite (4); Parks and Beaches Unit (26; National Commission for UNESCO staff (4); MAB National Committee members (9)). We received tangible donations through our partnership with the Caribbean Youth Environment Network CYEN)/ The Ripple Institute and secured the heavy equipment services of L&B Ltd.

Special mention must be made of the dedicated hard-working team from the Parks and Beaches Unit. They undertook the most difficult part of the clean-up, going into the ghaut in the area known as Tank in the Cayon River to remove debris and meaningfully complement the operations of the heavy equipment/machinery. This team was successful in removing (2.5 tons) of garbage from the area. The garbage collected from the Hermitage Bay amounted to 488 lbs, while that from the Keys Bay tipped at 522 lbs.

As a follow-up exercise, and in keeping with our public sensitization activity, we will erect signage in the relevant areas in the community, such as at the entrance to alleyways leading to the river. These we hope will discourage/deter persons from practicing indiscriminate dumping and help keep the environment clean and healthy.

Ms. Dorothy Warner, Secretary General of the St. Kitts Nevis National Commission for UNESCO, Mrs. Shirmel Dore-Henry, Project Officer and Mrs. Telca Daniel Wallace, MAB Project Coordinator take this opportunity to publicly express thanks and commend every individual and institution for their participation in this very important environmental enhancement exercise.

The MAB National Committee calls on the residents of Cayon to make every effort to conserve and protect the Cayon River and Hermitage and Keys Bay Areas for future generations. We look forward to the continued support of all volunteers, businesses and other stakeholders when follow-up calls are made for the on-going preservation of the SMBR. 

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