Work commenced today on the Highway Beautification Project along Highway 4, towards the Norman A. Nile Roundabout in St. Michael. (A. Reid/BGIS)

The beautification of the island’s highways and byways is showing up community activism and altruism that long existed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister of Environment and National Beautification, Adrian Forde, emphasised this today as he addressed the official launch of the Highway Beautification Project, along Highway 4, towards the Norman A. Niles Roundabout, in St. Michael.

Noting the response to become involved was great, the Minister said: “We are finding employment in the harshest of times when we are faced with a global pandemic. To employ and put many hands to make light work, that is one of the aspects of this project. We are employing Barbadians to take care of Barbados, [that is] very, very important and that must not be missed – the importance of employing people in these harsh times so that they can take care of themselves and have a measure of disposable income.”

He acknowledged the importance of the community playing its role and having “a sense of ownership” of the project and reflected that from the time work had begun other members of the community had come out and provided the workers with water, food and even gone the extra mile of keeping tools overnight for the Ministry.

Lauding those who continued to help sustain the workers throughout the day, Minister Forde stressed that Barbadians had a sense of pride and industry and understood what it took to be firm craftsmen of their fate.

“These workers were able to benefit because the community understands that they must be able to take care of little Barbados; they must have an appreciation and a sense of what this country means to them,” Mr. Forde stressed.

The Environment and National Beautification Minister also noted that the project had a psychosocial development aspect built in to it.  

Explaining further, he stated: “In the midst of gloom and doom, when you look out through your window, or you pass in your car, you want to see something that looks bright, aesthetically pleasing and that brings a sense of enjoyment…. At the end of it all, I, as Minister of Environment, maintain that there must be a green, economic, post-COVID recovery.”

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