Addressing a group of thirty one graduating environmental wardens during a ceremony held on Wednesday June 5, 2013, Minister of State in the Ministry of Local Government & Community Development, the Honourable Colin Fagan affirmed the importance of safeguarding the environment by adhering to proper waste management and public cleansing practises.
The State Minister told the graduates that he was pleased that they had taken the decision to lead the charge of protecting the environment by choosing to be properly educated on the subject. He said that while the onus has been placed on the environmental wardens to apply the expertise they now have to taking care of their environs and entreating others to follow suit, they were not alone in their quest. “The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development have embarked on a number of initiatives to deal with the proper disposal of solid waste and public cleansing”, he told the audience at the function.
He addressed the number of environment issues faced by Jamaica and the impact of improper waste disposal stating that “a contaminated environment can be very hazardous, especially to an individual’s health; causing several diseases and ailments”. He said it was for this reason that that the Ministry has made Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing, one of its top priorities for the 2013-2016 period.
Minister of State Fagan encouraged the wardens to persevere against the many challenges they will face in performing their duties and to seek to get as many communities as possible involved in practising appropriate environmental safety such as recycling and reusing, “I am sure with a little more education on the subject, we will see an increase in the number of persons adhering to these practices” he added.
He also implored members of the public to support the efforts of the Ministry and the environmental wardens pointing out that community participation was very important in ensuring the success in these endeavours.
The environmental warden training programme was developed by the National Solid Waste Management Authority in conjunction with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund.