Patrons, businesses who litter, destroy recreational spaces can be penalised-First Lady Office warns
Please see below full statement from the Office of the First Lady:
Safe public spaces including parks are essential for human and community development. Studies conducted across the world indicate that there are health benefits associated with having green spaces. Cities with greater number of public parks, for instance, record lower rates of diabetes and obesity.
Similarly, there are a number of social and environmental benefits associated with having safe green public spaces; including improved social relationships, a strengthened sense of community and increased environmental awareness.
These were some of the considerations which lead to the implementation of the National Beautification Project by my office in 2020.
As many of you already know, the National Beautification Project aims to safeguard the scenic qualities of Guyana, while creating a more social and environmentally-friendly society. Scenic revitalization can both motivate and accelerate community renewal and reinvestment which ultimately leads to community development.
Within the last eight months, two parks have been developed and handed over to the residents of La Jaousie on the West Coast of Demerara (WCD), and New Amsterdam, Berbice. Three other parks are currently being developed: one at Diamond/Grove on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD), one at Tuschen on the East Bank Essequibo, and another at Corriverton, Berbice.
Additionally, the Kingston Seawall is undergoing enhancement works which will transform it into a major hub for commercial and cultural activities.
Stymieing and undermining these efforts, however, is the lack of support from some patrons who frequent these facilities and fail to comply with established rules and regulations.
I continue to receive constant reports of patrons improperly disposing of their waste at these facilities, despite the fact that there are adequate garbage receptacles. Vendors who ply their trade in or around these spaces are also guilty of improperly disposing of their waste, which pose health and environmental risks.
Additionally, I have received several reports and photographic evidence of destruction of property at some of these recreational facilities. Lanterns, tables, chairs, and other decorative structures which costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, and have either been donated by kind-hearted citizens or purchased with taxpayers’ money, have been maliciously damaged at several of these parks.
I take this time to remind the perpetrators that the laws of Guyana provide for persons to be charged with damaging public or private property under the Administration of Justice Bill.
Similarly, penalties exist for litterbugs including businesses.
As we use and enjoy these public facilities, I ask that we take the time to appreciate the work that has gone into developing them, and the importance of ensuring that others can benefit equally.
Let us continue to strive to develop cleaner, safer and stronger communities.