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Chamber of Commerce to partner with Government to clean city

Chamber of Commerce to partner with Government to clean city


Congested, filthy, disorganized and not conducive to doing business is how executive director of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Chamber of Industry and Commerce (SVGCIC) Tony Regisford has described capital city Kingstown.

“The cleaning up of Kingstown requires a mature approach and politics must be pushed aside, as the capital is used by everyone,” said Regisford last Friday,{{more}} a day after Minister of Transport and Works Julian Francis met with business people to discuss the clean-up process.

Speaking from his office at the Cruise Ship and Ferry Terminal, Regisford said that the SVGCIC is a partner in getting Kingstown cleaned up, as the capital should be a place of cleanliness, where everybody who uses it feel comfortable.

“The Chamber, being a voice for the private sector, and realizing that a lot of members conduct business in Kingstown, takes seriously the matter of how Kingstown looks,” stressed Regisford, noting that the issues identified by Minister Francis are known to persons who can easily observe.

Regisford said that items like plastic, pallet board and styrofoam cups and plates are discarded daily in Kingstown, while the main issue of littering is driven by human behaviour. Regisford also thinks that following in the footsteps of Guyana, banning Styrofoam is a good way to go.

“The capital is also overrun by rats. It is a rat infested Kingstown and it is going to take more than the Pied Piper of Hamlin to get rid of them. We all have to do our part and we have to seriously consider how we treat litter,” said Regisford, who stressed that all stakeholders must take part, because if there is a disgruntled group of people in this exercise, it can undermine the clean-up.

“…We cannot be looking at it deteriorating to the point where it becomes a city that everybody wants to abandon,” said Regisford.

He said that if Arnos Vale is eventually turned into a city, as is proposed, Kingstown, if not cleaned up, will turn into a dirty downtown area, while Arnos Vale will be seen as a new pristine uptown, to which everyone will want to flock.

“We want Kingstown to come back as it was. All of us are linked to the problem. We need to look at things that can be done right away. This thing needs to be tackled, as we have the element of tourism to consider,” said Regisford.

He said that in his opinion, some persons have become accustomed to the dirtiness of the city, but collectively, we should not become accustomed to the situation.

“We need to take pride in what we do and how we conduct ourselves. It can’t be people doing as they like,” stressed Regisford.(LC)