The Environmental Community Health Organization (ECHO) is finalising arrangements to begin a recycling programme called ‘Changing the look of our school environment improving its health’ in 40 primary schools in Georgetown, says O’vissia Ford, Public Relations Officer.
This initiative is a pilot project and would be executed through the schools’ ECHO clubs. Ford noted that it would be evaluated after six months of its implementation. She added that improvements would be made, if necessary, and then the programme would be rolled out in other schools and communities.
The objectives are to reduce the amount of plastic bottles that end up on the roads, parapets and in the street drains, and to improve the physical condition of school yards by 35 percent. In addition, it is expected to enlist the assistance of 500 children in a hands-on activity to improve the aesthetics of the school yards.
“It is a known fact that plastic bottles impact negatively on our drainage system and the environment. An abundance of plastic bottles are discarded into the drains and on parapets in local communities. They restrict the flow of canals and water ways and contribute to overtopping during heavy rains,” she stated.
Ford added that plastic bottles are a major source of concern to the authorities and citizens. However, alternatively people could recycle plastic bottles resulting in fewer burdens to the environment than if they were to be discarded in the streets, drains, and the landfill site.
She emphasised that the programme entails the collection of all plastic bottles used in schools by the children and teachers for recycling. Special collection centres will be set up at convenient areas where children can dispose of these with ease.
The recycling programme has direct benefits to the schools and the wider community and includes: reduction of garbage collection cost in schools; income generating for other environmental activities of the school; and reduction of littering in the schools.
She added that to keep the children motivated throughout the year, participants of the programme will be given special awards and prizes. It is anticipated that the programme would present enormous opportunities for students to be good environmental models for others to follow. It is a matter of civic pride and inculcating sound environmental values in our children and young people.
Meanwhile, the Directors of ECHO will host what is being dubbed a ‘Special Environmental Conference’ on the theme “Uniting against poor Environmental Practices; protecting our communities; developing Guyana”.
The Conference which is slated for August 19, 2011 at 10:00hrs will be held at Cara Lodge, Quamina Street, Georgetown
According to the PRO, the forum is aimed at raising awareness on current environmental issues among the business community and consumers in Guyana and to seek their cooperation in protecting the natural environment.
This is to encourage consumers to be environmentally alert and to be persuasive to businesses in order to draw together some of the country’s officials, professionals and corporate bosses, so that they can describe and reflect on good environmental stewardship.
In addition, the conference is expected to help participants understand aspects of environmental approaches in a forum that encourages a holistic consideration of their attributes and interconnections in order to better conceptualise future options and scenarios for improvement, as well as to stimulate reflection and discussion on the way forward, to support effective environmental management.
It is also geared to encourage opportunities for networking and collaboration among the various sectors of society, thus making a greater contribution towards the health of the environment.
Ms. Ford asserted that “segments of our society must be involved in the struggle against the denegation and destruction of our natural environment. We must act now.”
Kaieteur News understands that the event will target those who are involved in the private sector, agriculture industry, construction industry, manufacturing, consumers association and other related groups, community leaders and regulatory bodies, among others.
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