By Anicia Antoine
CASTRIES, St Lucia, (GIS) – The Embassy of Japan and Saint Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and grant contract on January 16. The agreement makes allowance for a grant of USD$80,041 for the supply of three, used refuse-collection vehicles for use in Castries, made possible under the grant assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) administered by the government of Japan.
Ambassador of Japan to Saint Lucia, HE Tatsuo Hirayama, stated that the grant will empower residents with environmental management related skills and techniques for better care of the environment.
“With the arrival of the three garbage collection trucks, I hope Castries will optimize the use of these vehicles not just for collecting garbage but also, for raising awareness for proper waste management,” he said.
“The support received from the Embassy of Japan will facilitate collaboration between the Saint Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority and communities of Castries for the implementation of a sustainable and better structured solid waste management programme within Castries.
Minister for education, innovation, gender relations, and sustainable development, Dr Gale Rigobert expressed gratitude to the government of Japan for its continued assistance and contribution toward solid waste management on the island.
“Every step that we can make will redound to the benefit of our citizens, and will do more to enhance our own public health state,” she said. “It is important that we begin to recalibrate the thinking of our citizens as it pertains to waste. Trash is the new cash.”
Sarah Flood Beaubrun, minister with responsibility for external affairs, commended the Solid Waste Management Authority on its continuous efforts in ensuring a cleaner and safer Saint Lucia by caring for the environment, and contributing to safe and happy communities.”