Why do Vincentians litter? It is really shameful that in 2019 we still have a litter problem. Vincentians love to brag about our clean nature, but how can we boast that we are a clean people when we dirty our own country?
Have you ever been to at least one carnival event, or any fete? Have you ever stayed until the end of the event to see the piles of litter on the floor from the partiers? It is absolutely disgusting and there is no excuse for it. This might sound cliché, but if you won’t litter in your home then don’t do it outside. As a matter of fact, outside is also your home, as this is your country, you should want it to be clean.
I recently witnessed a child throw a soda bottle into a river while walking five feet from a garbage can. The garbage can was right there yet he chose to litter into the river. I was so shocked I had to stop and look at him. His mother admonished him for littering, but in my opinion, not harshly enough. This child had to be at least eight years old, so he certainly knew better. I’ve seen children littering countless times and I have no idea why. If you have a primary school education at some point you were taught not to litter; cleanliness after all is near to Godliness. If the children are our future, I’m afraid the future is dirty.
We can’t complain about the drainage and smell in Kingstown when our littering directly contributes to it. The rivers overflow their banks quicker when they are filled with garbage, I’m not sure everyone is aware of this fact, or perhaps they simply don’t care. When we leave plastic containers they fill with stagnant water and become a breeding ground for mosquitos. Remember chikungunya? My joints certainly remember.
There are direct consequences to littering and we cannot afford to ignore them. We need to have more pride in our surroundings and teach our children better. How can we call ourselves proud Vincentians when we don’t even take pride in our home? Think about that the next time you decide to litter.