The Environmental Community Health Organisation (ECHO) in collaboration with Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) yesterday launched the second leg of the “Schools in action against climate change” programme.
The event was held at the Cornelia Ida Primary School, West Coast Demerara, one of three schools included in the programme.
Yesterday’s launch involved Cornelia Ida, Leonora and Meten-Meer-Zorg Primaries bringing the number of schools associated with the programme to nine.
Executive Director of ECHO, Colwyn King, told the gathering that last week the programme was launched at St Margaret’s Primary and took in six schools in Georgetown
During his presentation, he stressed that there is too much litter in the environment and there is need to pay some more attention to this problem.
“This is what this programme is all about. It is about getting our children involved in a programme that will provide a forum for them to take leadership on environmental issues.
“We believe that the school environment is the most appropriate place at this time and we believe the Primary School is the right place, because we have a chance at this stage to influence the minds of our children to care for the environment.”
King also said that the reason why climate change exists is because people have been so negative towards the environment. “Therefore if we are going to fight against climate change we have to pay a little more attention to the way we care our environment.”
The programme, he added, has three phases. He noted that the first phase focuses on consultation with key stakeholders, community involvement and training.
According to him, the second phase is called a commitment phase whereby all the selected schools will be asked to sign on to a document to say that they will restrict the flow of plastic and Styrofoam in their school compounds.
“We believe that if you can restrict the flow of plastic and Styrofoam in our school environment we will be halfway through solving the litter problem.”
The third phase is where receptacles and water facilities will be installed. “This programme is geared to look at two particular issues — we are looking at garbage disposal and water purification.”
As this time, King added, they are in the first phase of the programme.
Several other persons gave addresses at the launch including the school’s headmistress, Region Three’s Regional Chairman, the Regional Education Officer, and PAHO/WHO representative, Teofilo Monteiro.
Monteiro, in his address, urged the students to desist from using plastic and Styrofoam so as to keep the environment safe for future generations.
This newspaper understands that a major aspect of this programme is the setting up of eco-clubs in several schools in Region Three.
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